Espargaro: ‘I’m a better guy than when I left KTM’, must avoid ‘stupid mistake’

Pol Espargaro believes he’s re-joined KTM at the right time following two difficult seasons at Repsol Honda, however, the Spaniard also knows that the beginning of the 2023 MotoGP season will be key, as will avoiding ‘stupid mistakes’.
Pol Espargaro, KTM MotoGP Valencia 2022
Pol Espargaro, KTM MotoGP Valencia 2022

On the contrary to making early-season errors, Espargaro made a brilliant start to last season as he led 17 laps of the Qatar MotoGP before finishing third.

But what he was hoping became a consistent run of results, instead turned into a nightmare for Espargaro as the new GASGAS Tech 3 KTM rider recorded just one top ten finish throughout the remainder of the season. 

A tough period, not least because joining Repsol Honda was Espargaro’s dream, has since seen him move back to KTM where he began to enjoy significant amounts of success in 2020 - Espargaro claimed five podiums which remains by far his best return in a single season.

Now looking to find the same level of success with the newly-rebranded GASGAS Tech 3 team, Espargaro feels he’s ‘grown’ a lot during his two years with Honda.

"From the bad moments you also learn," Espargaro told "It’s a process and you keep improving as a man and as a rider, the same as it is in your private life. 

"I have grown a lot at Honda. For me the experience was so nice. Even if we had tough moments. 

"I got to know a lot of nice people and good engineers and thanks to that I am going to bring better information.

"I am a better guy than two years ago when I left KTM. Every step in your career is important enough to understand where you can improve and if you are able to do it and improve then it is a victory."

Although Espargaro returns to the manufacturer where he’s produced his best form in MotoGP, and one where the bike is currently better than the Honda he rode in 2021 and 22, Espargaro knows that he and the team must avoid ‘stupid mistakes’ early in the season given the lack of testing time.


Espargaro added: "We need to be patient at the start. It’s going to be a long season. We don’t want to make a stupid mistake at the beginning. 

"It’s true also that the test days are very few. We just have five days of testing in 2023 before starting the season in Portimao. 

"It’s pretty close to the first race. We need to make sure we don't make mistakes and end up only doing a small number of laps but we also need to be quick as fast as possible. 

"Races are going to come fast, and there are a lot of races to do, so we need to be competitive from the beginning."

Read More