Pol Espargarò made his track debut with Honda in Barcelona a few days ago But it was with the CBR-RR and not the RC231V, so he was able to get some kinks out before testing in Qatar, which will begin March 6th. It was a chance to try out the new Turn 10, modified during winter, and talk about his expectations for this season.
How was the first contact with the remodeling at Turn 10?
“It was very good. We have been racing here for lots of years already and, when we started to race here, that corner was especially different than other race tracks. I think the corner now becomes a little bit better and also recovers what was lost with the last remodeling. Now I think it matches better with motorcycles than with cars.”
Do you think this modification is good for your riding style?
“I think this modification is good for riders who have fast corner speed or that ride bikes with high corner speed. The corner is very fast, and I normally tend to brake very late and stop the bike in the middle of the corner. Anyway, we will figure it out in June.”
Do you think the Honda will perform well at Turn 10?
“Hopefully, yes. We have lots of tools. Even if, at the beginning, it’s not going to be the perfect corner for us, Honda and myself, using technique and some mechanical changes, we can set up the bike and it won’t be a big deal.”
Did the virtual presentation help you realize that you are now a Repsol Honda Team rider?
“Yes, I’m still getting used to. It’s still a bit strange to see myself in these colors, but I am slowly feeling more comfortable in them. Knowing that, in Qatar, I’m going to jump into the Repsol Honda jersey, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Are you impressed by the media impact of the presentation?
“For sure. To be in this team means that the riders are fast and they have lots of attention from the media and lots of people around the Repsol Honda Team. I think that I will get used to it, but this will be one of the most difficult things I will need to manage.”
How was your first try with the Honda bike?
“It’s been really nice. The weather has been perfect, so we have enjoyed so much riding the bike, but this is completely different than MotoGP. For that reason, I’m really looking forward to Qatar, to see the difference between these ones and the ones I will ride there.”
What do you expect from your first two tests in Qatar?
“It’s difficult to expect something. I’m really looking forward to being there and seeing myself with that bike. I have been dreaming a lot about that moment, and I feel I can perform well with Repsol Honda. I still have to wait for a few days, and they will be long.”