Last year, Jorge Lorenzo famously suffered vision problems due to a helmet issue in the closing stages of the Qatar MotoGP.

Sunday's 2016 season-opener saw Pol Espargaro struck by similar symptoms, although rather than the helmet lining obscuring his view - as happened to Lorenzo - the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was 'blinded' by sweat on his visor reflecting under the floodlights.

"By the end of the race I had a problem with the helmet. All the sweat went onto the visor and with the light it was impossible to see," Espargaro explained. "So my last six laps were like blind!

"I tried to keep the pace and finish the race. but I did a lot of mistakes, Bradley caught me again and just at the end I managed to beat him to the line."

Espargaro claimed seventh position - as the top satellite rider - by just 0.023s, having fought his way up from eleventh.

"I did a really bad start and lost a lot of positions. Then I was blocked behind Brad, Hernandez and Hector. It was really difficult to overtake them and I saw Maverick and Dani going away.

"So it's a matter of satisfaction that we got a good result, but looking at what we could do I'm disappointed."

Indeed, the former Moto2 champion felt capable of taking on factory stars Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda) for fifth.

"Yeah I really think so because our pace and rhythm was the same. Sometimes I was even a little bit faster," he said. "Dani did some fast laps at the beginning so maybe he had some margin, but Maverick for sure we could be there if we got a better start.

"It's stupid to say that now, but we could have been there."



Loading Comments...