14 June 2012
Moto2: Espargaro on Marquez: I have to work twice as hard
"We do not need to be friends, but we need to feel a fierce mutual respect and admiration" - Pol Espargaro on Marc Marquez.
By Lisa Lewis
Despite the pending appeal to the FIM CDI requested by the Pons team, it seems the time between races has made Pol Espargaro take a philosophical view of the controversial clash in Catalunya with Moto2 title rival Marc Marquez.
The incident occurred when Marquez swung back across the track after running wide in the closing stages of the grand prix. Espargaro had dived for the gap created by Marquez's error, but was then struck by his fellow Spaniard as he returned to the racing line. Marquez claimed he did not see Espargaro.
Espargaro fell heavily, while Marquez continued to claim third place. A one minute penalty for Marquez was later applied by Race Direction, but removed by the FIM Stewards. The Pons team then submitted an appeal to have the original penalty upheld, the verdict of which is yet to be delivered.
But Espargaro, who suffered a sprained ankle in the accident, says he is looking forward to resuming his rivalry on the track with Marquez, as he believes racing someone of his standard pushes him to race better.
"I've had time to think and need to express my feelings, to let all the fans know, that after the accident we had two weeks ago at the Circuit de Catalunya, I am almost recovered," said Espargaro. "I am proud to compete against Marc Marquez, share the same stage and objective. We have the same goal: win races and titles.
"I want to win, but succeed or not, I will extend my hand and look him in the face, for all the respect he has earned and deserves. Having him as an adversary will make me stronger, bigger, because I have to work twice as hard to beat him constantly. We do not need to be friends, but we need to feel a fierce mutual respect and admiration."
Looking ahead to this weekend's Silverstone round, Espargaro does not think remaining the pain he has will damage his ability to compete for the win.
"I am recovered, although I still have some discomfort. First I took a few days off, but then I needed to get to work, both in the gym and practicing Supermotard. Silverstone is a circuit I like. Weather forecasters expect it will rain, so we must adapt as we did in the Portugal training and the weekend in France to get the best result possible."
Moto2 will be the first of the championship races at the British Grand Prix this Sunday.
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