Joining Repsol Honda to fight at the front of MotoGP, Pol Espargaro didn't sugar coat his current twelfth in the world championship at the halfway stage of his debut season on the RC213V.

The Spaniard has scored 41 points and a best result of eighth this season, putting him equal on points with LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami and nine points behind new team-mate Marc Marquez, who missed the opening Qatar rounds through injury.

To have matched Nakagami, in his fourth year at Honda and also on the latest spec bike, is the only real consolation for Espargaro, who was eighth in the standings with 73 points (and three podiums) at the same stage last season, during his final KTM campaign. Repsol Honda predecessor Alex Marquez, now at LCR, is current 15th in the world championship with 27 points.

"I had no expectations before the start of the season because after seeing the results of the guys in Honda last year, for sure they were not good," Espargaro said.

"I'm equal on points with Taka, 9 points off Marquez, but for sure the results are not coming. In the worst situation to be the second Honda is not too bad but for sure it's not what I want.

"I want to be more up in the championship, I want to do better results and for sure our performance has been poor in the first part of the season. So let’s hope for a better second half, especially by not doing so many mistakes."

Espargaro has fallen 13 times (not including testing) as he explores the limits of the RCV, the most accidents of any rider so far this season. 

Marc Marquez is next of the Hondas with 9 falls from seven rounds (a similar ratio to Espargaro). Although his breakthrough Sachsenring win may have ended Honda's longest losing streak in the premier-class, it's no secret that HRC needs to make further technical progress with the RC213V.

"What we need for Austria [after the summer break] is more edge grip and drive, more stability and a little bit more power. This is what I'm missing at the moment," Espargaro explained.

"The full stability of the bike [at Assen] has been an issue, pumping quite a lot and when this happens you waste a lot of energy just by trying to control the bike on the straight.

"Otherwise, just rest a little and restart again. When the results are not going good, it's good to make one step back, sit and think and rest again for the Austrian Grand Prix."

MotoGP 2021 | Crash MotoGP Podcast Ep. 11 Pt 1 | 2021 MotoGP Calendar and Dani Pedrosa KTM Wildcard