Pol Espargaro was left despondent and admitting that he was “f***ed” and “a bit lost” after a crash prematurely ended his home MotoGP round in Barcelona.
As was the case in Mugello, the younger Espargaro brother got a lightening getaway from a fourth row start. Ending the first lap in fourth, the 2013 Moto2 World champion slipped behind team-mate Bradley Smith three laps later.
It was on lap five, moments after Dani Pedrosa out-braked him at turn one, that he crashed out at turn three, leaving Espargaro exasperated at his M1's inability to turn exactly as he wants.
“[It was] Pretty similar as all weekends. Friday pretty good in front of Vale, behind Jorge. Saturday morning pace is quite good. I think here we had some extra troubles that normally we don't have for example, on the qualifying but on everything it was big problem. The rhythm was good on the race, I was confident. When Dovi overtake me I did some mistakes, I went wide two times because I tried to follow them and I was too aggressive on the brakes. Bradley and Dani overtake me and then I said, okay, I can follow them, I can stay here easy.
“Not easy but not dangerous but immediately I enter in corner 3 and I tried to make speed inside the corner but we had one problem during the whole weekend is turning. We don't turn enough the bike and the bike was going out, going out, going out, not turning, not turning, when immediately I touch the throttle to try to help the bike to turn. The front was a little bit too light. Was closing, closing, closing and I crashed. Definitely normally in this corner I never crash, because it's a strange corner to crash. It's a shame to crash at home and in front of all the people after doing a great start.”
As Andrea Iannone, a regular rival in the 125 and Moto2 class, continues to cement his place among the class elite, Espargaro is continually frustrated at not being able to make that jump. It is, he said, something that makes him feel 'a bit lost.'
“I see Ianonne, and all my respect, but I feel that I'm faster than him. I'm faster than Ianonne. I beat him in Moto 2. I beat him in 125. I beat him always. And f**k, when he wants he overtake us and he go. This is not possible. Maybe he can be faster than me but we should fight with him. I don't know if the official guys are so fast or the bikes are so fast or what is happening but okay, with Jorge and Vale I never ride. So I don't know if they are faster or slower than me riding.
“But with Ianonne, with Marquez, yes I ride with them. They are taking us so much gap at the end of the races, and this is not normal. I'm not saying that we are faster than them but come on, we were with them fighting in Moto 2. We were with them fighting in 125 and now we are f***ed. Because I'm not adapting to the Yamaha, I don't know. Because this year I'm not fast. But I don't know what to think. I'm a bit lost now.”
Espargaro went on to say Yamaha, to whom he is contracted, have been in regular contact as it attempts to find a solution for his current woes.
“The thing is that they are helping me and we have meetings and we speak with them. For sure it's not official bike and for sure we have not the development for me as an official bike. For sure I have to adapt more to the bike than the bike to me. This sometimes is a problem because I have black and white riding style of this bike and sometimes for me it's a problem.
“But they are helping me a lot and I'm glad with Yamaha because they are trusting me and they are saying to me, “Don't worry. Everything will be okay. You are fast.” So they trust in me and I have to say thanks to them because they trust me. Anyway, for me this is not enough. I want to do results not for them, for me, for myself to be happy again and to ride as I know again and to enjoy riding a bike again. I'm not enjoying. I'm not happy. I don't sleep well. I don't eat well. I'm not the Pol as normal I am.”
The disappointing result on Sunday, compounded by team-mate Bradley Smith's fine season form, where he has only placed behind Espargaro once in seven races, gives Monday's test extra significance.
“For us it's so [important] because we have to move the bike. Even knowing that something, putting some setting would not work, maybe we can catch something good of it. Maybe we think that, no, doing this the bike will not improve and we made it and the bike is starting to work well again. So tomorrow will be an interesting day. For sure we have to take profit of it and make a lot of laps because we know clearly what problem we have in this track and we know clearly how I will feel if we improve. So if we do it, it will be perfect.”