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Pol Espargaro: "Learn from your mistakes and don’t make them again"

Pol Espargaro: "Learn from your mistakes and don’t make them again"

Following an eventful first MotoGP™ campaign for Pol Espargaro in which he claimed the Rookie of the Year prize, this week he has undergone surgery. The Spaniard shared his thoughts on this and the season gone by with prior to his end-of-season party and before traveling to Indonesia for one final 2014 event with Yamaha.

He may be on crutches following his operation, but he is still smiling. This week, the Catalan went under the knife in order to rectify ongoing issues with his left foot, injured in a crash at Sepang on the weekend of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“I had a really bad crash in Malaysia,” he says. “The recovery had to be quick. I haven’t been treating that foot very well and, while doing motocross the other day, I noticed a ‘crunch’ in it. So I have had to have a small operation, a very quick one, but by Monday I will be walking and it should be completely healed in no time.”

Since Malaysia, however, the younger of the two Espargaro brothers has taken part in the Valencia test session which came immediately after the season-ending race. The next MotoGP track action will then be at Sepang in early February.

“We will change the weight distribution a bit for that test, but we’ll mostly be working on electronics,” Espargaro continues. “In Valencia we tried something and the bike was working much better in terms of both traction control and anti-wheelie. It was also much more reactive whenever I had to touch the throttle. It made a big difference and we’ve made a real step forward, so I’m pleased about that. Sepang is more of a round circuit and we’ll feel that more, as you’re not able to make such good use of engine braking.”

Although Pol came out on top in the entertaining battle for sixth in the Riders’ Championship, beating both team-mate Bradley Smith and brother Aleix, he recognises that 2014 did not bring good news on all occasions.

“No, but that is normal,” he goes on. “The rookies year tends to be the one in which you make most mistakes. It is a year of inexperience and you’re learning at every circuit. It has been a year to make mistakes – and I have made some. I look back and I’m able to count them with the fingers of my hands, but you learn from your mistakes. Now I just need to make sure I don’t make them again.”

Espargaro has also noted the words of Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, who has cited the rider as rapid but at times inconsistent.

“Yes, it can be hard to keep up the pace of those at the front. To spend a lap with them is not difficult, but the problems come when the tyre starts to go off and your pace drops. That can hinder you, but all of this comes with experience. At the moment, that is my weakest point. I need to improve it but, knowing how things went in the Valencia test, it is already looking better.

“I always say that the chassis I have is very similar to that of Jorge (Lorenzo) and Valentino (Rossi), but the problem is more electronics-related. We can’t always get that set up properly and we head into the races unprepared. Then again, I think improving that is also something which comes with experience and next year our base setting will be much better.”

In 2015, things are set to become more competitive still, as the likes of Maverick Viñales and Jack Miller step up to the premier class. Both will turn 20 in January.

“It’s true that new riders will be racing with us and they’ll be very hungry for success,” Espargaro comments. “For that reason it will be even more important for us to do what I think we will, which is be much stronger right from the beginning. We’ll get to each circuit already know the direction in which we need to head and start going for it immediately. It should hopefully all be a little easier.”

Following the publicity event in Jakarta which now looms, Espargaro will disconnect in Bali for several days. His plan consists of: ‘beach, sun and surfing’.

MotoGP, 2014, Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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