Pol Espargaro insists he is greatly anticipating his impending move to Repsol Honda for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship as he prepares for the final two events of his tenure in KTM colours.
Prior to the start of the delayed 2020 MotoGP season it was confirmed Espargaro would be Honda-bound for the 2021 campaign, a decision considered fairly logical in light of the team’s dominance courtesy of forthcoming team-mate Marc Marquez in recent years.
However, the 2020 season has not followed the anticipated form book with Honda’s form shaking in the wake of Marquez’s season-long injury, whereas KTM has flourished into a race-win contending package against expectations.
It means some have questioned whether Espargaro, who has been with KTM since its debut and made a huge contributing factor to its newfound success, has made the right choice in defecting to Honda for 2021.
For now Espargaro isn’t reflecting too hard on the decision itself, pointing out it had to be made before the start of the year, but insists he is relishing the prospect of measuring up against Marquez on the same bike.
“From leaving KTM to Honda, that was a choice before the start of the season and I took it because it was a great opportunity.
“Most of the guys in the GP paddock wants that opportunity and as I saw it in front of me, I couldn’t say no.
“I am really looking forward to finishing this year in the best shape possible and to start the next one beside the best rider in the world at the best level on one of the best bikes in the world, so it would be a pleasure to see in the mirror dressed in Honda.
Frustratingly for Espargaro, KTM’s race-winning form has only touched team-mates Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, though it is the Spaniard – with four podiums and two pole positions to his name – that will end the year as its best representative.
Indeed Espargaro, who sits seventh overall but is only 19 points off second, maintains victory would be a dream even if he won’t look back on it sourly if he doesn’t achieve it in this latter two events.
“The victory, I am not really super nervous to get it. In Czech Republic when Johann [Zarco] took us out we were there to fight for the victory.
“In Austria I was there at the last corner and in the first Austria I was going away in first place before the red flag so we had a lot of match goals but for whatever reason we couldn’t get it.
“For sure I want this victory but I have the feeling we haven’t the easy chance that we had in other places.”