‘I had to retire, the pain was too extreme’ - Pol Espargaro

A disastrous German MotoGP for Honda saw Pol Espargaro retire due to ‘extreme’ pain, while Stefan Bradl suffered with burning on his right foot.
Pol Espargaro, Honda MotoGP Sachsenring
Pol Espargaro, Honda MotoGP Sachsenring

Without Marc Marquez at Sachsenring for the first time since the eight-time world champion joined Repsol Honda in 2013, last weekend’s German MotoGP will be one the team forgets in a hurry. 

While pure performance was an issue for much of the weekend, it’s the condition of their riders that proved to be of bigger concern, some of which was self-inflicted. 

Following two crashes in FP1 (both at turn 1), Espargaro’s performance continued to deteriorate due to severe pain in his ribs that left him struggling to breathe. 

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And in a race where conditions were unpleasantly hot, the Spaniard’s fitness issues became too much for him to continue.

"It was a tough weekend already and then today [Sunday] was another hard day," claimed Espargaro. "The ribs just need time to recover but putting more stress on them each day doesn’t help. 

"I tried to do what I could in the race, but the pain got worse and worse and with the heat, I was struggling to breathe. 

"We also had a lot of heat on my right foot which added to the pain. I had to retire; the pain was too extreme. 

Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP, 18 June
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP, 18 June

"Now I will go home and recover there, the rib injury is similar to what I had in Valencia last year so I know how to deal with them a bit. Three days is not a lot before Assen, but it is what it is."

‘You feel stupid and like a fool’ - Bradl criticises Honda for burns at German MotoGP

As Espargaro mentioned, heat quickly became an issue during the 30-lap race, however, it was nothing compared to what Bradl suffered, or had to say about Honda for that matter. 

"I don't even know why I finished the race," added Bradl. "I was more than 21 seconds behind the penultimate rider.

"You feel stupid and like a fool when you're at your house at the German Grand Prix.

"It was terrible. Honda has not been able to develop a fairing that allows riders to survive this heat.

Stefan Bradl, German MotoGP race, 19 June
Stefan Bradl, German MotoGP race, 19 June

"This message has to get to them, it's not acceptable, it can't be like that. I've been through other hot and difficult races, but this one I don't know how I managed to finish it."

Unable to set lap times faster than that of Moto2 riders, it’s now clear why Bradl was so far off the pace during the German MotoGP. 

It was an equally disappointing German Grand Prix for LCR Honda as Alex Marquez retired due to a problem with his ride-height device, while Takaaki Nakagami crashed out on lap 7.

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