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MotoGP Indianapolis: Espargaro: hoping for Michelin improvement

Pol Espargaro 'cannot ride aggressive' and failed to beat his 2014 race time, hopes Michelin tyres could offer a solution
Pol Espargaro was once again left frustrated at not being able to find a setting suitable for his riding style as he finished the Indianapolis MotoGP seventh, a place behind team-mate Bradley Smith.

The Tech 3 Yamaha man, whose one year contract extension with Yamaha was announced on Friday, posted a race time one second slower than his 2014 effort and feels this underlines the struggles he is currently enduring.

Opting for a softer bike setting to enhance grip had negative implications for Espargaro, who found he could not ride as aggressively as he likes.

“I'm not happy because actually we are one second slower than last year so instead of improving we are going worse,” said the younger Espargaro. “That means that this is not the best way to ride this bike. I'm suffering. I'm not comfortable on this bike. It looks like this year to be fast we have to put a softer bike, a soft chassis and a softer Yamaha. When we are going softer I am suffering and I am not as fast as I am. I cannot ride aggressive.

“The softer we are, ok we have more grip in the rear, but I'm fighting always with the bike. I cannot ride as I know. I can't be aggressive on the bike. It's like we are dancing and I can't ride like this. We are going softer to catch grip but when we go with a harder bike, a shorter bike we lose this grip and we are slower again.”

As Andrea Iannone and Smith battled for fifth place, Espargaro was forced to contend with an advancing Cal Crutchlow. The Catalan went on to apologise for an incident at the end of the race when the pair came into contact on the back straight.

“At the beginning I made a good start,” he continued. “I know that it was so important to keep a good pace at the beginning of the race to follow Iannone and the Ducatis and the front guys. I did a good start, I take some risks at the first corner but it was necessary to be with them. By the end I lapsed because this soft feeling and fighting with the bike I was so tired and couldn't keep a good pace.

“I was fighting with Cal. I'm sorry because we hit each other on the straight and it was so dangerous. I think it was my mistake because I didn't see him that he was a bit behind me. We hit each other. Fortunately we didn't crash, we finished the race and I'm sorry with him. Fighting with the bike is not the way to be fast.”

The a test after the upcoming round at Brno offers Espargaro the chance to once again test Michelin tyres. Having sampled the French rubber before in Sepang, Espargaro believes they could offer a cure to his current woes.

“Actually I am looking forward to test the Michelin again. I had amazing feelings in Malaysia. I feel with them I can ride as I know, as I can. I don't know, we're just looking to go to the Czech Republic to try again.

“We are going always softer [with the setting] to catch some grip with the rear but I don't know what to do but for sure on the Monday in the Czech Republic with Michelin we will see what happens. If it's a different tyre we can be comfortable with my riding style. We'll see. I'm looking forward to next year to change everything.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pol Espargaro, Crutchlow, MotoGP Race,  Indianapolis MotoGP 2015.
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Reddng, Petrucci, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Barbera, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Bradl, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Miller, Smith Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller, Barbera, Bradl Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Maverick Vinales, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Bradl, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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August 10, 2015 4:34 PM

Yamaha didn't sign him to hear this,, If he deserves extension then Smith does deserve better than him to stay as far as this season results goes... Yamaha must consider grabbing Alex Rins for 2017.


August 10, 2015 7:19 PM

What he means to say is Bradley is for faster than I am and I'm making excuses already. I have no idea why I have been offered another contract when I keep getting beaten by my teammate. Obviously works on bridgestones is won many races this year already. Man up pol and blame yourself, not the machinery.

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