Make or Break for Pol
We’ve covered of our thoughts on last weekend’s incident between Pol Espargaro and Johann ZARCO. Thanks for all the feedback by the way, was great to get your thoughts too.
Now it’s time to address what we believe will probably be one of the most important race weekend’s of Pol’s entire career.
Let’s start off with a few facts.
· Pol is in his 15th season Grand Prix Racing, yep 15 years on the international circuit.
· Pol is in his 7th year of the MotoGP class
· Pol was the 2013 Moto2 World champion
· Pol has competed in 229 grand prix
· Pol is still just 29 years of age and still has a lot of racing ahead of him
When you look at back at some of those stats you can see why we are so hard on him in our last article. He is way too experienced to be making dumb mistakes like that and throwing away a guaranteed podium.
The pressure is on Pol Espargaro, whether he will admit it either publicly or even to himself, the pressure is really on and it will be sitting in his sub-conscious.
He has recently signed for HRC in 2021 to partner one of the greatest in recent history, Marc Marquez. That’s going to expose any rider, boy oh boy what a challenge.
He finally has a bike underneath that is capable of race wins. There can be no doubt about that now. In fact the KTM looks like it produces probably the best corner entry confidence of any bike in MotoGP, it seem to have really good acceleration and the top speed isn’t too bad either.
On top of all that, this weekend’s race is at the Red Bull Ring. KTM’s home track and where they have recently completed 4 full days of testing. This is a track they should do extremely well at.
Last weekend his rookie teammate Brad Binder delivered KTM’s first ever MotoGP win in only his 3rd ever MotoGP race. Wow! That must have cut deep.
Pol instead spent his afternoon sunbaking in the gravel traps of the Brno circuit after being dusted up by his young teammate and making far too many mistakes.
Around 70% of the MotoGP world and fans have laid the blame at Pol’s feet, that will have an affect on him. No doubt about that.
Add into the mix another 2 young, hungry riders Miguel OLIVEIRA and Iker LECUONA who are on if not equal equipment, equipment that is dam close. It’s easy to see Pol will have his work cut out if he wants to be the KTM top dog this weekend.
For most of Pol’s MotoGP career he has had a place to hide, he has never really been on a bike expected to challenge for podiums or wins. The closest was the Tech 3 Yamaha in his rookie season of 2014. Even then it was a lucky podium bike on a good day rather than a real bonified challenger.
A Champions Test
Now comes the true test, no more places to hide for Pol. He is wounded from last weekend and his back is against the wall. What he does this weekend when it really matters, as the chequered flag falls on Sunday afternoon, is going to say a lot of Pol’s potential to be a future champion.
There is one very important ingredient to performances of brilliance, they are born from adversity. Adversity always presents an opportunity for brilliance. Some athletes can use it to their advantage, some will crumble under the pressure.
Well here is your opportunity Pol, which one is it going to be?