“Shocking” first Honda MotoGP pole “like a victory” – Espargaro

Espargaro has enjoyed a strong weekend at Silverstone as the nature of the circuit and the generally cool conditions have masked the Honda’s grip problems.

The Spaniard snatched pole position by 0.022 seconds in the dying stages of Q2 on Saturday afternoon to score the Repsol Honda team’s first MotoGP pole since the 2019 Japanese GP.

Espargaro qualified 11th and 15th at both Austria races and came away without points having finished 16th in both.

“Yeah, it’s a little bit shocking after how tough Austria was how we’ve been able to come back here,” Espargaro said.

“It’s difficult to believe, but there are different ways to take these bad moments; in a sad way or in an angry way. We took it in the second option.

“I tried to be every day a little bit better I’ve been working so much, but unluckily the results were not coming.

“Here everything is coming much easier.

“Sure, the track, the weather is cold, the extra grip we have in this track gives me the feelings I have to apply my riding style and maybe to forget a little the problems we have in the pit box with the bike.

“Also, this place has been good to Honda in the past years, so let’s enjoy today. Today this pole felt like a victory.”

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Espargaro has scored two pole positions prior to this one with KTM and has finished on the podium six times in the premier class.

When asked by Motorsport.com if this pole position, in the context of this season, was his most significant result, Espargaro said it was because of the pressure that comes with riding in Repsol Honda colours.

“Yeah. Okay, at KTM we started from very behind, which means when you are in the top it feels very, very good,” he added.

“But this change in my sporting career, I think it was the most ambitious change in my sporting career and when you go into a team with these colours, many people are point[ing] at you.

“For sure, I cannot feel bad when somebody says I am doing a bad result, it’s natural and I can understand.

“But it’s been tough, it’s been really tough and I’ve been suffering a lot – and I am suffering.

“This isn’t going to change from day to night. For sure next weekend I’m not going to be on pole position, I’m going to fight, I’m going to try, but it’s difficult.

“So, hopefully this can change a little bit the situation in the pit box, give some positive vibes to the guys and also give to the Japanese [engineers] more oxygen to work harder and we can take different solutions when we are in worse situations.

“We are going to play hard in the next weekends and this result is going to help all of us. So, for me it’s already a victory, I don’t care about tomorrow.”