Sixth position, a fraction behind team-mate Bradley Smith, offered Pol Espargaro scant consolation after a promising weekend at the Aragon MotoGP.

The Spaniard qualified as the fastest Yamaha rider and was on the pace throughout the weekend. However the changeable weather during Sunday's 23 lap race left him frustrated to only claim ten points.

"Today was a disaster for us," admitted Espargaro. "I was really fast in dry conditions and we made a good start and I was with the top four riders for five laps and I was really comfortable. In the dry I think that we were really fast but I made a mistake and Andrea, Cal and Bradl overtook me and I started to recover.

Related Articles

"Finally it started to rain and everything was wrong, I think that we stopped too late and we lost a lot of time. The other riders could overtake us and it was impossible to do anything when you are one lap behind them in wet conditions. This weekend we were really fast, but like at Sachsenring the rain came and it destroyed everything that we did for the weekend. "

Adapting to the flag-to-flag bike swap rules is one of the biggest challenges for rookies in the premier class. Having made his first bike swap at Assen, then having to start from the pit lane at Sachsenring, Espargaro was keen to avoid making a mistake on Sunday.

As a result his tactics centred on matching the approach of the more experienced riders in the field.

"In Sachsenring we made some mistakes so I said that I was a rookie and I should follow what the experienced riders do. So I thought that Dovi would stop at the correct moment and I thought that I was a rookie and I would not know when to enter, so if I copy Dovi it would be good.

"But Pedrosa crashed, Marquez crashed and Dovizioso crashed so when I stopped it was one lap too late and Aleix had stopped two laps before. When we put in the tyre for the rain I wasn't comfortable and I was really slow and had a bad feeling."

Timing the change of bikes is a massive challenge for riders and it's one that makes or breaks their race. Stop a lap early and you can destroy the wet tyre, stop a lap too late and you lose too much time.

Today Espargaro made his decision to stop as he came onto the start finish straight with five laps remaining however during the lap the conditions worsened considerably and he lost time however changing to the hard tyre was also a costly mistake.

"The lap before I stopped I did 2m06s and that was much faster than the laptime that I did with the hard tyre. The slower lap was the lap that I came into the pits and on that lap I lost a lot of time. When I crossed the line I decided to stop but it was already too late. We used the hard tyre and I don't know why. I think that we made a mistake because with six laps to the end of the race to put in the hard tyre was a big mistake. I made a mistake also though by stopping too late."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

Rain makes it a crap shoot.
At least he stayed on and got a reasonable points finish.
A lot of much more experienced riders got it badly wrong.