Espargaro not a “proper MotoGP rider” until he joined KTM

Pol Espargaro admits he wasn’t a “proper MotoGP rider” before joining KTM and says there’s no way he could have gone to Honda without his years with the Austrian marque. 

Espargaro not a “proper MotoGP rider” until he joined KTM

The 2013 Moto2 world champion was signed by KTM for its first season in the premier class back in 2017, and has since gone on to score six podiums and two pole positions, as well as spearheading development of the RC16.

Next year Espargaro will move to the factory Honda squad to join Marc Marquez, with Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira heading KTM’s works outfit. 

Speaking to Motorsport.com ahead of his final KTM appearance this weekend in the Portuguese Grand Prix, Espargaro says he is now on “another level” as a rider thanks to KTM and feels the Austrian manufacturer “taught” him how to be a top MotoGP rider. 

“100%, KTM is part of this,” Espargaro said when asked if his move to Honda would have been possible without his time at KTM. 

“Now in one level, for sure riding on track, but also psychologically I’m at one level I’ve never been, matured.

“Now I can lose and I don’t feel like a loser. I don’t know how to explain it, because I feel that in KTM I have grown from a kid in this MotoGP world to a man. 

“I have discovered many tools to use on the bike that if I were, for example, jump from my first bike in MotoGP to HRC it would for me be impossible to adapt because many tools I’m using now I just discovered at KTM and they were building me, I was building with them this bike and I know every single piece of the bike what matters, how to touch the bike and how the electronics need set up. 

“They taught me how to be a rider, actually. I was not a rider [before]. I was a man riding a bike but I was not a proper MotoGP rider. 

“They taught me how to do it and without this knowledge, for me it would be impossible to face the best rider in the world. I feel like a man now. It’s so, so much different.” 

Espargaro currently sits seventh in the championship ahead of the final round and is just three points outside of a top five place in the standings. 

Read Also:

 

 
shares
comments

Related video

Mir "more intelligent" than MotoGP rivals, says Alex Marquez
Previous article

Mir "more intelligent" than MotoGP rivals, says Alex Marquez

Next article

Quartararo: Portugal more about improving myself than bike

Quartararo: Portugal more about improving myself than bike
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021