MotoGP Germany: Espargaro ‘angry with himself and strategy’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro put the disappointment of Barcelona far behind him as he arrived at the Sachsenring searching for points.

With the help of a few rides of a different kind, some time out with the family and a fresh outlook as the MotoGP season meets the halfway stage, Espargaro pinpointed more than just his last lap mistake that cost him the potential of challenging for a home win last time out.

“Yes, for sure I will try to forget as soon as I jump on the bike tomorrow, FP1,” Espargaro said of his premature celebrations at Catalunya. “But I have to say that this time I struggled more to forget. On Sunday night I couldn’t sleep, the test was very difficult for me on Monday, but also Tuesday/Wednesday I was training with the bicycle - the thing that I love the most of my life - and I couldn’t stop thinking about the mistake.

“I was angry with myself because I tried to repeat to myself that ‘is just a human mistake, it can happen, forget it’, but I couldn’t. So then I decide at the last moment to do a trip to Euro Disney with my kids. To forget the diet, to don’t train for two days and to have fun and it worked really, really well.

“I disconnect and now I’m back, I completely forget what happened in Barcelona. It was just a stupid mistake but when you are fighting for the title as this year, you know it’s everything bigger. So hopefully I can recover some points here in Germany

“I was quite angry after the race,’ he continued on a frustrating race strategy that saw both mechanics and Michelin technicians apprehensive of the aggressive Spaniard’s tyre life. “Apart from my mistake, also with myself, with the job we did and to my team. “Obviously, they want the best for themselves and for myself, that’s the truth. This is why we work and we work to achieve the best results. But they were a little bit worried.

“I think during the weekend we prove that we’ve been very, very fast in every sessions so on the race I start too conservative and when I realised that I was too conservative, it was too late. In three laps Fabio [Quartararo] opened three seconds so it was the race done, it was impossible for me to catch Fabio again.

“But I think that when you don’t have the pace to go with, for example, in Jerez I didn’t have the pace to follow Pecco [Bagnaia] and Fabio but in Barcelona I had the speed to go with Fabio so I was very angry.

“I said to the engineers that the numbers and the consumption of the tyre it can be whatever, I don’t care but at the end of the day you need to go as fast as you can and then you will manage in the last three laps but you cannot start as conservative as we started in Barcelona. So yeah, we learn about that.

“I did a very, very long meeting today, trying to compare a lot of that of Barcelona, trying just to understand how the things goes in Barcelona to don’t repeat it again.”

With Sachsenring ushering in another back-to-back, the 32-year-old is keen to harness the potential of the RS-GP on show so far this season at a track he already knows he can be strong at.

“Germany has been always a good track for the Aprilia and myself,” Espargaro confirmed. “I’ve been quite competitive on the last two/three years that we raced here. Last year I was fast on qualifying, also the first part of the race I was fighting with Marc [Marquez], then when the rain came I lose too much time. But at the end I finished I think at two seconds off the podium which is not that bad.

“I believe with this year’s bike this is a good weekend for us so I will try to work good from FP1, then to have fun on the qualifying, switching off the brain to put a fast lap and yeah try to fight for another podium here in Germany.

“I have the feeling that these two races are very, very important,” he continued of the German and Dutch GP. “Now I have more than 30 points with the third on the championship but Fabio have 22 points more than me. So I hope that in these two races I can achieve a good number of points to have a nice summer break.

“Anyway the first ten races has been like a dream for me. I will try to fight for the podium here and in Assen to have a good summer break but I believe also that anyway I already deserve a good holiday this year!”