MotoGP, Pol Espargarò: “What a shame for Marquez’s absence, he’s important for development”

After the official Hondas triumphed in Misano last weekend and conquered the first two steps of the podium (also thanks to the ruinous falls of the Ducati, which was in the lead for most of the race), it’s the moment of truth at Honda. With Marc missing again due to a training accident, it will be Pol Espargarò’s job to drag Honda into 2022, and the next two races will be fertile ground for important tests.

How important is this race to Honda’s progress?
“I’ve always enjoyed driving this track,” said Pol. “Even if the result with KTM wasn’t that great last year, the feeling was good. However, this year we had some problems in the first race here and I crashed too, so I don’t have good memories here at Portimão at the moment. I came here for some tests during the summer break, so maybe I’m more busy than others and Honda has improved too, so I hope I can do well this weekend, especially after the great result at Misano. “

Honda is obviously working on pulling the bike into the 2022 season. How important are these last two races to development? How much will Marc’s absence count in this sense?
“In the last few races we mainly worked on development because I haven’t had a chance with the championship so far. At the moment I have mixed feelings because if overall the season has not gone so well, we have also had good results like we did at Misano and that makes you think a lot about your future. Now my aim is to feel comfortable on the bike in the last few races and then to be able to reset everything next year and start again from scratch. There will certainly still be a lot of development work to close the gap to other teams. “

What do you expect from Honda?
“I would like more speed, especially more speed when entering corners, but I know that Honda is already working on it.”

Marc will miss this race after an unfortunate accident during a training session that left him with a minor head injury, straight to Misano where he returned to the podium.
“Marc knows his physical condition better than anyone. If he has chosen not to participate in a race, he must have valid reasons. At the end of the game, even if we riders live for adrenaline, to get on the bike and just hit the gas, your health comes first. MotoGP is not an easy sport. It is very physically demanding to drive at these speeds, so you have to concentrate very well. I hope he can return to Valencia because Marc is essential for all of us at Honda to understand and help develop this motorcycle. “