Pol Espargaro’s future? “I confess I am relieved not to race, but I feel fast…”

Pol Espargaro's brutally honest verdict on his future as a rider

Pol Espargaro, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 26 November
Pol Espargaro, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 26 November

Pol Espargaro has admitted relief at not racing full-time this year due to the physical toll of injuries.

Espargaro’s 10 seasons as a MotoGP rider were ended by KTM’s decision to replace him with Pedro Acosta in their Tech3 GASGAS project this season.

His 2023 was blighted by an awful crash in Portimao on the first weekend which resulted in jaw, spine and lung injuries.

He will be a test and reserve rider for KTM in 2024.

“Become a MotoGP rider again? Phew, well I don't know,” he told Marca.

“Honestly, in the tests I looked good and I feel fast.

“And, furthermore, I am recovering my optimal physical condition, which is what I lost after the injury.

“In any case, God will say.”

Pol Espargaro, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February
Pol Espargaro, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February

But the injuries suffered a year ago have changed Espargaro’s mind-set slightly.

“When you are young you forget it quickly,” he said.

“But as you get older it is a backpack that gets heavier and heavier.

“When you get up you notice pain that you didn't have, and that is due to falls you have had.

“I have to confess that in many moments I do feel relieved to no longer race full time.

“To give an example, I spoke with my brother who fell at turn 5 in Qatar doing the fastest lap.

“He was going very well and he fell and he said to me: 'I hit a terrible blow, my hand hurts a lot, I think I have suffered a fracture and I have to get up in weeks to see how I do...'

“Well, I don't miss that.

“Maybe what everyone sees on television is the races, the atmosphere, the public, I'm going to miss that a lot.

“But the injuries, the stress, the traumas and the confrontations with rivals, no, one cannot miss it.

“In short, right now I'm fine the way I am.”

Espargaro, as well as his new role as a test and reserve rider, will also work as a TV presenter for DAZN who broadcast MotoGP in Spain.

It is a role which Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo already hold.

“It's going to be a little different from Dani's because I'm going to be at the races.

“My role as a commentator at the races is to bring the technical field a little closer to people's homes because we're seeing lately how motorcycles look more and more like F1 with more aerodynamics and more technical gadgets on the bike.

“That is often very difficult to understand. “People may not know why a rider in the middle of the race starts to slow down and slows down and is overtaken by another competitor.

“Or how factories work and why a factory works better on one circuit and not on another, and perhaps all that is technical can be brought a little closer to the viewer from the circuit.

“I think it is a very interesting job.”

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