MotoGP, Pol Espargarò: “I chose Honda to compete with Marc Marquez”

VIDEO – “I’m in the best team this year, with the best bike, and next to the best rider in the world. I want to get on the podium, win races, and the world championship.”

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Besides Ducati’s rookies: Bastianini, Marini, and  Martin (who was a guest on our live broadcast yesterday) there will also be something new on the MotoGP 2021 grid, along with important changes. First of all, the Quartararo-Rossi switch in Yamaha, the new official Ducati team, the arrival of Petrucci in KTM and, from KTM, Pol Espargarò’s arrival in Honda HRC.

Wearing these colors is something extraordinary,” Pol Espargarò said about his first time out with the Honda colors. “For many years, I’ve seen the best riders in the world win titles and races with these colors, which is an honor for me. It means that you have everything in your hands. It means being where every rider wants to be and where we all want to win. When I was racing in the 125, the Moto2, and even the MotoGP, this team was on the podium at practically every race and, seeing these colors next to my number, is incredible. Ever since the beginning, I was very clear on where I wanted to go and where I wanted to see myself, to test myself, and find out what I was capable of. The best way to do this is to be on the best team in the world, with the best bike in the world, and next to the best rider in the world. I think I’ll be joining the Repsol Honda Team at the best moment of my career. Being where you want to be, at the right time, means making a dream come true, So, without a doubt, I’m making my dream come true right now.”

The biggest news for Pol Espargarò, in addition to the environment and the pressure he’ll have to endure, will certainly be the bike. The RC213V has a reputation for being a tough bike.

I’ve seen this bike many times in photos and videos, and it’s quite small. You can handle the shorter ones however you want. They tend to move, but it’s the kind of bike I like to ride because you tell the bike what to do. Sometimes, you have to force it and do a thing or two that the bike doesn’t want to, but it’s my way of riding. I like to brake late, and I’ve seen that every rider who gets on the Honda manages to brake very late and very aggressively. This greatly favors my riding style.

What are your goals for the season?

My main objective for the season can only be the get on the podium or win races, and possibly even the world title. I have to improve last year’s results. I had a good season, but it can be improved, and I’ll try with all my strength. The first year won’t be easy, but I didn’t come to the Repsol Honda Team to fight for the first six places in the championship. I came here to reach the highest goal of my career, which is to become the MotoGP world champion one day. Surely, by winning the races, I can achieve this goal here at Repsol Honda.”

How do you think you can contribute to the Repsol Honda Team?

I’ll try to offer something with my proactive attitude. I’ll do a great job, with passion and love for this sport, to surely achieve good results. To say that we would be happy to finish in the top ten would not be true, because that is not what the team expects, and it’s not what I expect. I’ll do my best to achieve what this team has done in recent years.

How do you think the first test will go?

I can already say I’m nervous, super nervous,  and I don’t think I’ll sleep the day before! This is a chapter in my life that I’ve always tried to imagine. I can’t wait for the moment when I get on the bike for the first time. I think it’ll be a moment that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and I really want to enjoy it.”

What will it be like to share the garage with Marc Marquez?

Sharing the team with Marc I think is another reason why I wanted to join the Repsol Honda Team. I've fought with Marc in the minor categories for many years, and I enjoyed it a lot. I grew up with him fighting race after race, and this makes me the rider I am today. When you fight one of the greatest riders in the world, you tend to improve much faster. The best way to improve yourself is to be alongside a rider who’s similar or even better than you. I’ve changed because of this. I want to see what my level is compared to Marc, who is certainly one of the best on the grid.”

Is it a dream come true?

When you imagine wearing these colors or getting on a bike like this, and then you finally do it, it’s incredible. You’re making your dreams come true. I’m living my dream. Yes, one hundred percent.”

 

Translated by Leila Myftija

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