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Espargaro: “I am convinced that I can do much more”

Espargaro: “I am convinced that I can do much more”

Sweat and the bright lights of Qatar dazzled Pol Espargaro during the race, forcing him to work hard to keep seventh place.

Pol Espargaro opened his 2016 MotoGP™ World Championship points account with a strong seventh place finish, ending as the top independent, or satellite, team rider. A less than ideal start saw the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider stuck behind several slower competitors at the start of the race, allowing the top six to break away. Once past, Espargaro settled into his race rhythm and tried to break away from his teammate, Bradley Smith, who was in hot pursuit. The Spaniard had opened up a gap, but a combination of sweat on his visor and the lights of Qatar had Espargaro unable to concentrate properly and soon his teammate was with him. Fortunately he was able to overtake his teammate right at the line to finish the race in seventh and 18.629s off the winner.

Seventh is a much more positive start to the season for the satellite Yamaha rider who feels much more comfortable on his 2016 bike than he did in 2015. The next round in Argentina offers a significant challenge for Pol Espargaro who has never finished better than eighth at the track.

Pol Espargaro: “I am satisfied with the result today mainly because, looking back on how we finished the season in 2015, I was not entirely comfortable with riding last year’s M1. This year we have started differently and my feelings are better on this bike, plus I am convinced that I can do much more than before. Today the race was not easy, because I made some mistakes, especially at the start which didn’t go to plan. I was stuck behind some riders at the beginning and then I lost Maverick and Dani, which is a pity because at the end they had a very similar rhythm to me. It was a long GP but I am happy with the outcome especially after the battle at the end with my teammate. I was in front of Brad for nearly the whole race, with a gap of about one second.

“I controlled this amount of time and I was feeling comfortable but seven laps before the end, I encountered an issue where the sweat from my forehead dripped onto my visor and with the lights in Qatar, it dazzled me. Bradley caught 0.6 of a second in one lap and then right at the end he overtook. I fought back and retook him again then, but luckily I was first at the end of the race. For sure, Argentina will be a bigger challenge compared to here because we have had a lot of testing time in Qatar. In addition, I struggled at Rio Hondo last year so it will be tricky anyway, especially if the conditions are hot, yet we will give nothing but 100% just like we have done here."

MotoGP, 2016, COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, RAC, Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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