Espargaro was "trying too hard" in first-lap crash

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David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Jul 16, 2018, 4:39 PM

KTM MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro has owned up to the mistake that caused a four-way melee on the opening lap of the German Grand Prix, explaining that he was trying to compensate for a poor grid position.

Espargaro crashed and took Suzuki's Alex Rins with him at Turn 3 at the Sachsenring, compromising the races of Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) and Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) in the process.

He avoided a penalty for causing the incident despite both Suzuki riders saying he should have received one, but Espargaro did not dispute that he was at fault.

"I generated everything," he admitted. I was on the outside of the second corner and I was pushed a little bit out for some riders inside, but is normal.

"Then when I changed direction on the third [corner] I realise I was super-inside, too much.

"Then I had Iannone in front, I think he was trying to lock the inside to avoid someone overtaking him. He was a little bit slower than normal so I was waiting for him to release the brakes and then to let me go into the corner.

"But he was locking so much and I couldn't stop the bike enough and I crashed.

"I am so so sorry with Alex because my bike or my body, I don't know [which] exactly, hit his bike and he couldn't finish the race because of my action, so I am super-sorry."

Espargaro admitted the mistake stemmed from his lowly grid position of 15th, saying qualifying performance is KTM's Achilles' heel at the moment.

"I tried too hard in the beginning to make a good position at the end of the first lap to not lose the race in the first laps because, again, we have lost everything on the qualifying," he reflected.

"This is a qualifying problem and if we would be qualifying a little bit better it would not happen. It is everything about Saturdays, and it happened in Holland [Assen] and it happened again here.

"When you start behind, you have more chance that this type of thing happens."

Topping warm-up a surprise

Espargaro led Sunday morning's pre-race warm-up, becoming the first KTM rider to ever top a MotoGP session, which was a "big surprise" for the Spaniard.

With Bradley Smith taking 10th, Espargaro feels his crash came "in the worst moment of the season".

"It was a big surprise [to top warm-up] for me as well," he said. "I was really surprised because everything comes really easy.

"I was with Dovizioso, easy playing, catching him, like he was a back [of the grid] rider and I said to myself, 'woah, today is the day, you can do a good job.'

"It is super-unlucky that it happened here in the first lap, I couldn't show what we had.

"We had a very good rhythm, very good feelings, I was ready to do a good race but in the worst moment of the season it happened and I couldn't finish the race and show where the KTM can be.

"Anyway Bradley did a top 10, so this is good, but I think we could have done something very interesting here at the Sachsenring."

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event German GP
Location Sachsenring
Drivers Pol Espargaro
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Author David Gruz
Article type Breaking news