Pol Espargaro's British MotoGP came to a dramatic end when he was thrown from his Red Bull KTM after the chequered flag.

Having crossed the finish line in eleventh, the rear-wheel of Espargaro's RC16 then locked-up as he entered Copse corner, sending the Spaniard into the air.

"The rear-wheel locked up straight away, but honestly I'm happy because we crossed the line," he said.

While joking that after the finish is the best time for a technical problem, he admitted: "Maybe the right time would have been when the bike is straight! But we crossed the line, no injuries and almost finished in the top ten.

"It can happen, I mean we are discovering things with the bike and sometimes there will be problems."

Team Manager MotoGP Mike Leitner added: "Pol had a spill off the bike after the line with a problem we've never seen before, but we'll learn from that."

Espargaro rose to ninth in the early stages of the race, but struggled to keep pace once the rear grip reduced. At one stage he slipped to 15th, but accidents and technical failures ahead helped him regain positions.

The #44 took the chequered flag 30-seconds behind race winner Andrea Dovizioso.

"When the rear tyre dropped I couldn’t continue following the top guys, especially with full lean angle I couldn't open the throttle and follow the line," Espargaro explained. "With Dani [Pedrosa] I was comfortable the first laps, then some riders started to overtake me and my rhythm dropped much more than them.

"We struggled more than we expected in this heat. But with full grip at the beginning I did a 2m 3s and I was able to - maybe not follow Dani - but stay there. Then I started to struggle with the rear and couldn’t continue the good lap time.

"Anyway, I think we must be happy because it feels like the same conditions as Barcelona, about the grip, and today we finished 30-seconds from the top [instead of 49-seconds] and we could fight with the top guys when we had full grip."

Espargaro made clear that whatever caused his slow-down lap accident hadn't hindered him during the race.

"We had our problem [after the finish] but the engine was fantastic during the race."

Team-mate Bradley Smith finished 17th and last, 18-seconds behind Espargaro.


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Why did Smith finish last?

Because Lowes crashed!

:D Smith got 3 races to prove himself and keep his seat - so far no improvements 

he's going to need to win a race to keep his seat at this point...

Consistent finishes in the points would be a start.

I agree it's not looking good for him for 2018.

Optimist would say he was close to points in 17. :D

Realist who actually looked at the race has to remind that only reason why BS was 17th was that:

-Folger didn't even start

-Marc+Aespargaro blew their engines

-Lowes crashed

- iannone crashed + collected Petruchi at the same time like it would be hiis normal friday evening at the bowling arena

:D :P

Of course he did. Should change his career to a crash test dummy. 

I remember, I ever commented saying Smith was unworthy of a GP ride, but many commented otherwise. With Pol finishing 11th, Brad had to be somewhere nearby. I think most probably, Brad would be dropped for next season. I don't think Oliveira or Binder are ready to the GP step up, so perhaps get in Kallio for 1 year before assesing which rider to get in next.

Agree completely

Kallio seems to be the realistic option for KTM in 2018.  Smith has always been honest, but honestly, he's struggling over the past year.  Hope he turns things around.  BS did really well on the Tech3 Yamaha, but nothing close to those performances in quite a while.


Oh and regarding THIS post, Pol's doing pretty good on the KTM thus far!  Good to see him threatening the top 10!