Pol Espargaro: “The emotions I felt were a little bit too much”

Pol Espargaro says his final race day as a full-time MotoGP rider was tough to handle as emotions got the best of him.
Pol Espargaro, KTM MotoGP Valencia 2023
Pol Espargaro, KTM MotoGP Valencia 2023

The former Tech 3 GASGAS rider closed out his full-time MotoGP career at Valencia before being replaced by Pedro Acosta at the one-day test.

Espargaro was under contract until the end of 2024 initially, but with injury causing him to miss large parts of the season, and KTM needing to promote Acosta in a bid to fend off interest from other manufacturer, Espargaro was the odd man out after KTM confirmed Augusto Fernandez would be staying.

That meant Espargaro, who will take up a test rider role with the Austrian brand next year, closed the doors on a 10-year career in MotoGP at Valencia, the scene of his first premier class podium.

"It was a very tricky day honestly, you know, it's not the last time I'm going to be on a grid but obviously the emotions that I was feeling on that grid they were a little bit too much,” said Espargaro when talking to MotoGP.com. 

“Every time I raised my head and I was looking at all the people in the stands, the noise, the tension, all my teammates around, all the guys that I have raced with since I was a little guy. 

“It's been amazing. I just feel so, so lucky to have been with you know living my life, my story, trying to chase my dreams through the last 10 years so I'm a very lucky guy.”

While Espargaro would have liked to continue in MotoGP had KTM been able to offer a fifth bike, the Spaniard feels as though he made the most of his time as a full-time racer which was aided by having the right people around him.

Espargaro added: "A day to remember because, OK I have raced my last race as a permanent guy in MotoGP but obviously because I had those people surrounding me. This is with the people I live every day with, every hour, not just in racing but at home.

“It's the people that make me happy so at the end of the day I need them from now till the end of my days so it was just amazing to be with them."

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