Angry Espargaro says pitstops gave Ducati unfair advantage

Pol Espargaro was left fuming with MotoGP organisers’ decision to mandate a pitstop in the Argentinian GP, as he feels this gave his Ducati rivals a major advantage.

The Spaniard was locked in a three-way battle with satellite Ducati riders Eugene Laverty and Hector Barbera late on in the shortened Termas de Rio Hondo race, eventually finishing behind the duo in sixth.

Scott Redding’s rear tyre delamination in Saturday’s final practice session started a sequence of events that led to the introduction of a mandatory bike swap mid-race for safety reasons.

And Espargaro is adamant this loaded the dice in favour of the Ducati runners, who he says could therefore run using more power than if they had had to nurse their tyres to the end of the race.

"It's true that we were running further behind than where we should, but others are ahead of where they should be too,” Espargaro told Motorsport.com.

“Under normal circumstances, Barbera and Laverty would not have been up there because they would have destroyed their tyres like they always do.

"It was a race made for Ducati. After 10 laps they could do a reset [swapping bikes], put on new tyres and have all the power again. That allowed them to brake later and accelerate before me again.”

Redding’s tyre failure was similar to that which afflicted Loris Baz’s Avintia Ducati in Sepang testing, and Espargaro believes problems with the rear Michelin are a unique Ducati phenomenon.

"We are blaming Michelin [for the failures], but they are doing a great job with all the other manufacturers,” added the Tech 3 rider.

“Ducati has more power than the rest and they know how to use it, and that's why their tyres are exploding."

Interview by Oriol Puigdemont

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Argentinian GP
Track Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
Drivers Pol Espargaro
Article type Interview
Tags michelin