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“KTM said that they want to be fighting to win the title in three years…”
That’s the goal according to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaro, as the Spaniard spoke to motogp.com ahead of the #ArgentinaGP. With both bikes seeing the finish line and a big hurdle overcome first time out in Qatar, the project is off to a good start – and has a big journey ahead with a big target painted at the end. So what does the 2013 Moto2™ Champion think about the road ahead?
Pol Espargaro: “For me that looks so difficult and almost impossible, but I’m going to trust them. I’m here to fight for winning races and they’ve tried it in all the areas so why not in MotoGP? I don’t know, life is made for the adventures, so let’s try it. The development of the bike is so fast, you cannot imagine what’s going to happen in the middle of the season. I don’t know, I’m hoping to be fighting for the points as soon as possible. It’s going to be difficult but I trust in KTM.”
That trust has already been rewarded in some ways, as Espargaro says the KTM machine is much more suited to his riding style:
PE44: “With Yamaha I was always trying to flow into the bike because I‘m quite aggressive riding the bike. I was trying to just to be smooth and I couldn’t ride as I want to. With the KTM I feel the bike mine, it’s wild, it’s strong in the braking points, and I like to brake late going into the corner. I like the way you ride this bike and I think it’s a little bit better to me than the Yamaha.”
So now the adventure is underway and the project is a reality. Initially, how hard was that decision to take?
PE44: “Some years ago, in Moto2, I was playing and fighting with some riders that now are winning races and is a little bit frustrating because I think and I know that I can do it, but I couldn’t where I was. KTM comes into this MotoGP world with a very good project together with Red Bull, they offered it me and I said: ‘Yes. This is what I want, this is where I want to go.’ After my first year in Tech3 in Yamaha I had the opportunity to jump on a Suzuki and I said, ‘No, I want to stay in Yamaha’. After what my brother did, after what Maverick did and after what happened in Suzuka I said, ‘I made the wrong choice’. When KTM appeared I said ‘OK, I don’t know if it’s going to be the same at Suzuki, better, worse… but for sure it’s a factory and they have this spirit of winning.”
That spirit of winning is pushing the project forward very quickly, with the Valencia test now seeming like eons ago and the first double finish under their belt after round one. Now it’s time for Argentina – another new track, and another new set of challenges as KTM try and pave their way to the top.
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