May 18, 2021

Honda “was a mess” in Jerez MotoGP race – Espargaro

Espargaro launched from 13th on the grid but was unable to make much progress into the top 10, ultimately ending the race 11.7 seconds from the victory in 10th and trailing his Honda team-mate Marc Marquez.

The Spaniard says he was “just feeling really bad” in the 25-lap Jerez race and was unhappy with the performance of the RC213V.

“[I was] just feeling really bad, we have no traction, we have no turning and our speed is not good,” Espargaro said.

“I cannot ride smooth, my pace doesn’t come, I’m riding tight and trying to gain more and more in brakes.

“But then the brakes gave up and I go wide, because in the other areas we are a mess. It’s like this.”

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Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro will have time to understand his issues on Monday during the post-race test at Jerez, though suggested he wasn’t too enthusiastic about HRC’s programme, noting: “I’m an employee of Honda and I’m going to do what they want me to try.

“I’m going to work with the package they want me to work on, but there is different ones [used] during the race, different Hondas.”

One of the most notable differences in Honda machinery during the Jerez weekend was that of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami, who reverted a 2020-spec frame in a bid to find better rear grip.

Though admitting in terms of handling he felt the 2021 chassis was better, Nakagami was comfortably top Honda in fourth in the race on the older frame.

Espargaro believes the fact all Honda riders are using different packages is causing problems in bettering the 2021 bike, stating: “I’m going on the test and trying to do different things.

“Let’s see what they want me to test, if we can improve the global situation.

“I think we’re going too much individually and not as a group. This in the end is hurting the group and that is not good.”

Espargaro believes this disparity in direction at Honda currently is adding to his own woes in understanding the bike because his “knowledge is zero”.

“The problem I have now, I don’t know If I’m good, if I’m bad, if it’s the bike or the package I’m using,” he said.

“Or it is my riding style? I don’t know what’s going on and I’m a little bit confused because it’s the same confusion in the factory at the moment in the package, in the style.

“And for me, I’m new, I have this confusing because I haven’t been trying a lot things.

“They work so big, but I’m so small at the moment.

“My knowledge is zero. I have the feeling they are working big, but because my knowledge is zero I cannot help them.

“They cannot help me, and I cannot check anything to try and help myself. Because we’re not going one way.”

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