Since Dani Pedrosa's retirement from racing at the conclusion of 2018, Repsol Honda have had a different rider alongside Marc Marquez in each MotoGP season. 

Jorge Lorenzo was team-mate to Marquez in 2019, before the eight-time world champion was joined by his brother and Moto2 champion Alex Marquez last season. This upcoming campaign will be no different for Honda, as Pol Espargaro makes up the fourth all Spanish line-up within the team since 2012.

Espargaro brings a healthy amount of MotoGP experience with him having began his career with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in 2014, before moving to KTM in 2017. 

Given the rider changes Honda have had recently, it comes as no surprise that Espargaro's new crew chief Ramon Aurin has valuable experience working with new riders.

"We have changed riders a lot in the three years, but this gives us good experience to change a lot on the bike in a short time," said Aurin.

"The guys in the team have a lot of experience hand making different pieces to adapt the rider’s position while at the circuit so we don’t always need to wait for parts to be made. This will be a big help with quickly adapting the bike to Pol."

Any time a rider moves teams, there will be a familiarisation period in order to understand the best way of working together and maximising results. 

When asked what will be the most important area to focus on first, Aurin added: "The first thing that we need to catch is the way how every rider explains their feeling, they all have a different way for different feelings.

"The first thing that we need to know is what they want to change on the bike when they say something about the bike. This makes the relationship between the mechanics and the rider stronger, making it easier to understand what they need.

"Then for us it’s important to understand making the bike suitable to his position, so when Pol explains the problems he is having on the bike, we know what we need to change to accommodate him."

Espargaro had his best season in 2020 finishing with five podiums and two pole positions on his way to fifth in the standings. 

The Spanish rider now joins the most successful team in the paddock, which brings along its own expectations. According to Aurin pushing 'for the championship' will be the aim.

"Our target is clear: we want to get the podium in the first few races and after we want to fight for the championship.

"Pol is not a rookie; he is a guy with a lot of experience in MotoGP and the Honda is a winning bike. We need to push for the championship for sure."

 

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