MotoGP Phillip Island: ‘To attack and make no mistakes is not easy’ - Espargaro

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Aleix Espargaro arrives at Phillip Island with three races and 20 points standing between him and Aprilia’s first MotoGP title.

Round 18 sees Espargaro firmly in the middle of a five-rider fight with Fabio Quartararo and Pecco Bagnaia ahead, and Enea Bastianini and Jack Miller a similar 20 points in arrears. After a difficult weekend in Thailand, which left the RS-GP man eleventh overall due to poor weather, far from ideal qualifying and a long lap penalty, the Spaniard is looking forward to a return to Australia for the first time since 2019.

“Obviously we struggle in the dry conditions in Buriram,” Espargaro admitted from Phillip Island on Thursday. “We improve a little bit in the warm up, in the last moment but definitely on the wet it was not that bad. I think I was able to fight for sixth/seventh place but obviously with a long lap penalty was difficult. It was a shame because I lose a lot of points but anyway, I accept it and moving forward with just 20 points to the leader after Buriram so looking forward to ride here in the Island.

“I can’t wait really, to try the ‘22 Aprilia here in Phillip Island because in the fast tracks this year, the bike has been very, very competitive,” the 32-year-old explained. “Like Assen, Argentina, many tracks where you don’t really use the brakes, the bike was very competitive. So in this track, I think the bike will work very good and I can’t wait to try it because it’s a place where you normally enjoy a lot riding.

“With the downforce that we have this year due to the wings, if we compare to 2019, I think the first corner will be better,” he continued. “Also the last corner will be much better, the bike will turn a little bit more and for sure it’s not really a demanding circuit for the engine. But anyway, this year’s bike is a lot stronger so in the straight also it will be helpful. So let’s see how the bike works.

“Is not easy, to attack and make no mistakes is not easy but yes, it’s time to deliver, it’s time to attack.

“We have to recover some points,” Espargaro confirmed on the championship battle. “20 points is not so much but in three races is not going to be easy, I know for sure but I will try my best. For me now, it’s not more about to be constant, but to attack, to try to risk more than ever in the season and I will try from this weekend.”