Pol: "I celebrated this pole as if it were a victory"

"Puig gave me a motivational talk that was good for me. There was anger, because he believes in me. A touch of attention is enough for things to come out," he says.


Without counting those of the preseason, 15 falls in GGPP has cost Pol Espargaró to squeeze all the potential that he has inside with the Honda. He was euphoric in the statements he made in Dazn after winning pole position in the British GP, the third for him in MotoGP.

-What's going on in your head?

-I still can't believe it. I have gone from being in one of the most critical moments of my career last weekend, in Austria, where I did not understand anything, I had no grip, I did not traction, I could not drive the bike, to complete euphoria and ecstasy. They are very opposite sensations and it is difficult to understand. Things have happened that have motivated me again and get that little bit and that spark that I have inside and that doesn't always come out.

-What things have happened?

-What happens after a defeat like Austria's is sadness, which gives way to anger and if this you can approach it in a productive way, things improve. This weekend Alberto (Puig) has returned and the day before yesterday we were talking. He gave me a motivational talk that came in handy. In part there was anger, because he believes in me and believes that I can do it well. He told me that I am not getting the most of what I could get and, ultimately, to concentrate more. In the end, a touch of attention is enough to make things go better. Your presence here has helped me a lot.

-How much does this layout influence?

-Without a doubt, the layout suits me a lot. It is aggressive, with low temperatures, the asphalt has grip. That covers a lot of motorcycle problems. When there is grip all the problems go away a bit. It's the same as when you put a soft tire. The grip we have here is a bit extreme compared to Austria and it is something that I love. With this grip I am able to achieve good things, great things, and I feel very comfortable riding. That's how it's been all weekend.

-Comfortable enough to fight to win?

-For now I am going to enjoy this day, which I have celebrated as if it were a victory. We'll see. Starting in the top positions helps to have a more placid race, not to be thinking about whether you are overtaken by the one you have to overtake again so that those in front do not get away from you. After so many bad times, being able to enjoy a little is fine.

-What will the strategy be?

-Starting first, the strategy must be valued a little more and think about fighting the last laps as well, but now the most important thing is to rest, savor this triumph and tomorrow we will hit it again.

Already in the press conference of the poles, this was the most interesting thing that Pol has said:

-What will your emotions be on the grid?

-The sensations on the grid will be very strange. It will be like being in a test because I will not see anyone in front. I have suffered a lot this year, nobody can get used to the idea. Tomorrow is a day to enjoy. I'm still in a learning position, and I'm going to take the race as part of that process, because it's hard for me to ride with a full tank and new tires. I'll see how Pecco and Fabio do it at the start of the race.

-Can you apply your riding style with the Honda?

-With this bike I am facing problems with my riding style. I used to use the rear brake a lot, so much so that it burned the rear disc and gave Brembo a lot of work. But at Honda we mostly have traction problems at the entrance of the curves with the rear axle and it does not allow me to use the rear brake as much and I have so many falls from the front. To apply my style I need to use the brake. And here the situation is different, because we have more grip and I can apply my riding style, braking late and playing with the rear brake.

-What is it like to have Marc as a partner?

We have a good relationship with Marc and it is very positive to have him next to the box. In my first set I had done 1: 59.6, which I thought was a great time for the first time attack. And they told me that Marc had done 1: 59.3. That made me push harder in the second set where I knew I could do 1.59 bass. Fighting someone as strong as Marc with his own weapons is something very important and valuable.

-Who are you most afraid of in the second row, Martín, Márquez or his brother?

-I suppose Marc, because he will not be satisfied to see me on pole and he fifth. And I know that he will start the race with fire in his eyes. But all of us in the first two rows are very strong. Perhaps I am the least used to fighting in front. I don't know what his weapons are at the start of the race, so I think the one who is going to suffer the most at the start of the race is me. But it is not a problem for me to accept this kind of thing.

-Is it your best result in MotoGP?

-I think so. At KTM we started far back and it took a lot to get there, but there has been a change in my sports career. Without a doubt the most ambitious change because when you wear these colors, many point their fingers at you. I don't feel bad when someone tells me that I am getting bad results, but it has been super hard and I have suffered a lot. Maybe next weekend I will suffer again, but I hope that this will mean a change in the box and will be a ball of oxygen for the team. That is why it is a victory for me. What makes me happy is not the pole, it is the lap I have done. Because I can apply what I've been doing for years on this bike. Honda is working very hard, but it is not easy for them to develop the bike with all the pandemic, the complications of the trips… but I feel great support from Takeo, Alberto and the whole team. This Saturday has shown that if everything works as I need, I am capable of achieving results. Maybe I need a little more time to avoid crashes in the time attack, but I feel the support of Honda and the whole team that surrounds me.

Photos from as.com

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