Pol Espargarò wants to put the discontent of Mandalika behind him and has to do it in a very special MotoGP weekend, lacking Friday’s free practice. It will be even more difficult for the Honda team, without Marc Marquez, replaced by Stefan Bradl, and Taka Nakagami, who tested positive at Covid-19. The cancellation of the first day could complicate the situation for the Golden Wing team.
Uphill MotoGP weekend for HRC
At Losail he made his debut with a podium, the second on the RC213V after that of Misano in 2021. The Rio Hondo track is well suited to Honda, but the Grand Prix starts uphill. “The cancellation is bad luck for everyone, for the organizer, for the teams that do not have the bikes ready and for the riders who will have to do a day of marathon“. Free practice and MotoGP qualifying will be concentrated on Saturday only. “All in one day and on a circuit where we have not been here for more than two years. Saturday is going to be a very, very stressful day“.
The Michelin tires affair
In addition, you have to deal with a dirty asphalt, we haven’t raced here since 2019 and it will take time to rubber the track. After the disagreements with Michelin over the introduction of a harder carcass in Lombok, Pol Espargarò hopes to find the right feeling with the tires. The traditional carcasses established by the French supplier are back, but a bitter taste remains in the mouth for the behavior taken in the Indonesian GP. Alberto Puig spared no criticism of Piero Taramasso’s choices. HRC worked on a set-up to adapt to certain tires, but on the eve of the weekend it found itself in front of tires that upset the setting of the 2022 prototype. “The bikes are different and so are the riding styles. The tastes of the riders are also different, which is why we have winter tests, to adapt to the circumstances in which we find ourselves every year and Honda has done an incredible job on this. But we couldn’t take advantage of it in Indonesia“.
Marc Marquez’s forfeit
At Termas de Rio Hondo Pol Espargarò will share the garage with Stefan Bradl, once again we have to deal with the absence of Marc Marquez, after the accident remedied in the previous round of MotoGP. And he’ll probably miss his next Austin match next week as well. “As I have said many times when Marc is not there for me it is a problem, because he is the one who sets the limit. In Qatar I was able to go faster than him, but that’s just an exception. He provides useful information to the engineers in order to improve the bike and ours too. I would like to see him again in Texas, although maybe it’s still early days. But we hope to return as soon as possible“.
Podium goal for Pol Espargarò
The Catalan driver’s attention will be focused on his performance, because not only the classification is at stake, but also the renewal of the contract. “I will give everything to get back to the top after a difficult weekend in Lombok. What happened in Indonesia is past and now we focus on the future. We are not very far from the top of the standings and our goal is to put together a competitive package like we did over the weekend in Qatar. I have had good results in Argentina in recent years and we know what Honda can do this year. It’s time to show our potential“.