Repsol Honda rider Pol Espargaro’ first nine races for the Japanese manufacturer have very much been a trial and error following the switch from KTM.

Espargaro is not alone in having an up-and-down season so far, as all other Honda riders - Alex and Marc Marquez, along with Takaaki Nakagami have faced similar challenges. 

And while the stereotypical ‘Honda is hard to ride’ statement had been tossed around (true or not), especially towards Espargaro as it’s his first year on the bike, the Spanish rider says the crashes we see - including three in one weekend (Barcelona), is more down to his style as ‘I like to ride like that’. 

"Everyone is saying that the Honda is very difficult to ride, but for me it’s not this difficult. It’s not about the difficulty of riding a MotoGP bike - all the motorbikes are difficult. You need to work super hard in all the bikes," added Espargaro. 

"It depends how your riding style is. You face more difficulties on one bike, or manufacturer to another one. In my case, the Honda riding style it fits to me. I like to ride like that, on the limit, crashing with the front. 

"I’m a guy always giving my all and sometimes this bring me in the situations where for example I crash three times in one weekend and this makes things more difficult, but it’s the way I approach the weekends. 

"For me it’s the only way of racing in MotoGP. Before I come to Honda I had this in mind. This was my daily, my routine. I knew when I came to the team and I tell the team ‘when I come, get ready, because you guys are going to repair a lot of bikes. 

"I think the way of improving is knowing the limit; the only way is crashing. You just know the limit when the front end close, when you highside."  

Coming from a KTM to Honda was seen as the easiest of all the bikes on the grid given small similarities between machinery. 

But, the biggest difference for Espargaro has been the way both companies are run and methods used. 

While ‘difficult’ at times due to the size of HRC which can lead to ‘different lines’ of working, Espargaro is happy with the relationship because ‘they are using and trusting me’.

Espargaro said: "Honda have one method of working that maybe nobody else can have because of the strength of Honda, the power of Honda; is so big that it can have different lines of working inside the same project. 

"It’s a way of working which is different to what I was used to. At the end, if you can take profit from this it’s amazing, but it’s also difficult. 

"You come into the team and you see this kind of working after four years in KTM - it’s not easy. But I’m happy because they are using me and they are trusting me with what I say. I think this is getting good results inside the factory."