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MotoGP Silverstone: Espargaro ‘shocked’ pole ‘felt like a victory’

Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro was back to his animated, optimistic self after securing a sensational pole position for the BritishGP, with a record-breaking lap of Silverstone.

The Catalan was a little lost for words with how perfectly his UK visit was going, however, after his difficult run of form since joining HRC as Marc Marquez’ teammate for 2021.

“Is a bit shocking after how tough it was, the past two weekends for us in Austria,” Espargaro admitted from the post-qualifying press conference.


“How we could be able to come back here, it’s just difficult to believe but there is different kinds of ways take these bad moments - in a sad way or hungry way. We took in the second option and I tried to be everyday a little bit better.

“I’ve been working so much but unluckily things were not coming. Here, everything is coming much easier. I mean, sure the track, the weather, with this cold, the extra grip we have in this track, everything gives me the feelings that I need 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 too. Let’s enjoy today, tomorrow is going to be a new day but today, this pole felt like a victory.”

When looking ahead to Sunday’s 20-lap race around the 6km circuit, Espargaro was reluctant to focus too much on what is possible and the task in front of him.

“Honestly speaking, I don’t want to think about tomorrow so much. I’ve been struggling so much this year, suffering so much this year that I want to just live in the present right now. What we are having, this time, with my mechanics, my team, for sure, working for tomorrow, but I want just to enjoy the moment. Just Carpe Diem. Tomorrow is gonna be a new day, for sure we are gonna put all the effort on tomorrow’s race but it’s time to enjoy. I didn’t be in that situation for a long time and I think we deserve after the hard work, so let’s see.

“The feelings on the grid are gonna be very, very strange. They are going to be like a test, not seeing nobody in the front,” he joked.

“But yeah, for sure the feelings will be amazing. I tell you I’ve been suffering so much this year. You cannot believe how much I was pushing myself, as everyone for sure is training a lot but I see my history and I’ve been suffering, still am suffering but here for whatever reason, it’s coming better. I feel confident and I build up my confidence here which end up in that position in the grid, which is amazing.

Tomorrow I think it’s a race to enjoy and to be with these guys [Pecco Bagnaia and Fabio Quartararo], to see what these guys do in a race. What I’m not normally doing in the race weekend. I’m in a kind of learning process with this bike. So to see what they do in the race, with a full tank, following their lines, see what they do in the first laps to be so fast, that I’m struggling in the past races, it’s gonna be interesting. I’m gonna take tomorrow’s race as part of this learning process but also an enjoying day. I tell you, if I can be some laps with them, it’s gonna be so fun!”

Espargaro is quick to praise his new teammate and admits he uses Marquez as a driving force regarding what is possible with his Honda RC213V.


“Marc, we have a good relationship and it’s so nice to have Marc in the pitbox,” he said before explaining further. “In the first run for example today I did ‘59.6 which I consider a good lap-time for the first pushing time. But I asked the guys what Marc did because he was not on the list, and the guys told me that Marc did 59.3 but they cancel so I said, ‘Okay, I thought it was good but it’s not good.’ Marc did three-tenths faster than me so this helped me to push myself a little bit harder in the second run. I knew it would be possible to do a 59-low, so that’s why I pushed myself much, much harder during the second run and I could do this lap time. To fight against one guy as strong as Marc, it’s always important and nice.”

And obviously the rivalry goes both ways.

“First of all, I imagine Marc would not be happy to see me here in the pole position and him fifth, in the second row, so I know he’s gonna start tomorrow with fire in the eyes,” the 30-year-old continued. “

This is 100% sure, we all can imagine it. Fabio is super strong, Pecco is super strong, the guys in the first two rows are super strong. I’m not used to fighting with these guys so I don’t know what these guys are gonna do in the beginning of the race. I don’t know which are the skills in the first laps, I don’t know how aggressive they are on the overtakes, where they can overtake me. I’m not used to them. So, for sure, the guy who is going to suffer more in the beginning of the race, that’s going to be me, even if I’m starting on the first position. It’s not a problem to accept these kind of things, but also for me it’s going to be fun. It’s something new. So I’m gonna enjoy!


“Okay, in KTM we started from the very behind, which means that when you are in the top, it feels very, very good but you know the change in my career, I think it was one of the most ambitious change in my sports career. When you go in a team with these colours, many people is pointing you with the finger. I cannot feel bad when someone is putting you a finger and saying you are doing a bad results, it’s natural and it’s normal and I can understand but it’s been tough. I tell you it’s been really, really tough and I’ve been suffering a lot. Hopefully this can change a little bit the situation in the pitbox, can give some positive back to the guys and also the Japanese and they can work harder, as I’m working, and we can take different solutions when we are in worse situations. So, we are going to play harder in the next weekends and I believe this is going to help all of us.

“Okay, it’s a pole position and I’m very happy but it’s not actually the pole position what makes me happy. It’s the feeling of that lap, it’s to feel that I can apply what I’ve been doing, and it was working in the past years.

“Today, it was like a small proof that, okay if everything works as we need, I’m able to do it, but just maybe we need some more time for me to understand a little bit more the bike. The limits of the bike and to not crash so much in these time attacks and then also, for Honda to understand what I need to be faster rider.

“For me it’s already a victory, I don’t care about tomorrow.”

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