On 6 March Pol Espargaro will finally ride the Honda RC213V for the first time during a pre-season test at the Losail circuit in Qatar, but first he has completed his first interview in his new team colours.
The Spaniard is in seventh heaven as he looks ahead to that first test day: “I’ll be nervous and I don’t think I’ll sleep the night before! This is a chapter of my life that I’ve always tried to imagine. When I get on the bike it will be a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life and so I want to really enjoy it”.
As he hangs up his KTM leathers after having helped develop the RC16 over the last four year, Polyccio is more than ready to wear the Repsol Honda uniform and admits: “Wearing these colours is extraordinary, they represent glory for me. For many years I’ve been seeing the best riders in the world winning titles and races in these colours. It means being where every rider would like to be successful and where every rider ultimately wants to be. When I was racing in 125cc, Moto2 and even MotoGP, this team was on the podium practically every race. Seeing these colours alongside your number is surprising”. The former Moto2 champion also adds: “I’ve reached the best moment of my career. I’m living my dream”.
The long wait ahead of the first meeting
He still has to wait more than a month before ‘meeting’ his bike for the first time and understanding its characteristics and how best to adapt to it. For now, he says: “I’ve seen this bike many times on video and it’s quite small. You can manage these shorter bikes as you want. They tend to move around a little more but that’s the type of bike I like to ride. It’s you who has to tell the bike what to do”. The Spaniard continues with his analysis: “Sometimes you obviously need to force it to do things it doesn’t want to do, but that’s my way of riding. I like to brake late and have seen that every rider who races the Repsol Honda is able to brake very late and very aggressively; this is a good thing for me”.
“One day I’d like to be MotoGP world champion”
We should expect big things for him, considering that he’s part of the team that has won six of the last eight titles with Marc Marquez, and he’s ready to give it his all: “The main aim will be to reach the podium or try to win races and also, why not, the world title”. Ambitious goals, but he himself admits:“I haven’t come to this team to fight for the top six, I’ve come to achieve the most important goal of my career, which is to become a MotoGP world champion one day. This is a goal I can achieve here at Repsol Honda”.
He will share the garage with Marc Marquez, as soon as he returns to the tracks following his arm injury. Pol explains: “This is another reason I wanted to be part of the Repsol Honda team. I battled against Marc for many years in the minor categories and I had a lot of fun. I grew up with him, fighting in the races, and that’s what made me the rider I am today. When you battle one of the greatest riders in the world, you tend to improve at a quicker rate. I want to compare my level with that of Marc, one of the best on the grid”.
Translated by Heather Watson