Pol Espargarò has been a Repsol Honda rider since the 2021 MotoGP season. Leaving KTM was not easy due to a contractual quibble.
Pol Espargarò’s adaptation to the Honda RC213V still takes time. He left a KTM RC16 with which he had begun to collect great results to attempt the adventure with the Golden Wing. The Japanese prototype is certainly one of the most complex, where the front end forces you to fall to find the limit. But the younger of the Espargarò brothers never regretted the decision he made. Being part of a historically award-winning team, in the box of multiple champion Marc Marquez, was an offer that was difficult to refuse.
The signing with Honda
The signature on the Honda contract, however, came even before the start of last MotoGP season. In hindsight, and with the five podiums of 2020, would he have changed his mind? “You never think you’re making a decision for the worst. When I decided to switch to Honda and go look for this new project, it was because I believed this project was better. So you can’t regret it anymore – he tells DAZN -. At that moment I chose what was best for me … They believed in me, only the future will tell if I was right or not“.
Leaving KTM was not easy, neither from a human nor a legal point of view. “Contracts are full of interpretations. Although everything is very well expressed, there must be good faith on both sides. Many clauses are interpretable and both must agree when someone wants to leave. Holding him back is a bit silly – adds Pol Espargarò -. We had a small argument with KTM because one of the clauses said they could renew me“. Before officially agreeing with Honda, the Catalan had to discuss for hours with the Austrian managers during the first post lockdown tests of 2020.
Pol and Marc in the same box
Water under the bridge, the present in MotoGP requires a quick adaptation to the RC213V. There is no time to settle in, his driving style seems to be a perfect fit for Honda. This is also why Alberto Puig and the HRC top management wanted to focus on Pol. “Today the DNA of the bike and the riding style of the rider must go together. If one of these fails, the level of the category is so high that nothing goes from fighting for the top five to fighting for points.“. Marc Marquez will soon find himself in the garage, a rivalry that began as a child … “Sports tension will return, but we will face it in a more mature way … Now I am surrounded by a human group better than the one I had and I will face it in a different way“.
Jonathan Rea “In Testa, my autobiography” Also for sale on Amazon Books