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18 days ago
By Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Espargaro: “We showed that we are a big family”

A home crowd of over 100,000 fans cheered on Pol Espargaro as he battled up to fifth place after a tough weekend.

Starting down in 12th place gave Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) a significant hill to climb on Sunday at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. An aggressive first lap saw the local rider up to eighth by the end of the first lap, immediately leading the Independent Team rider battle. Before too long he was past Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and before long was up in fifth place. His progress was aided by the coming together of Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), but Espargaro looked set to finish as the fastest Independent Team rider regardless. He would eventually cross the line in fifth, stopping at Turn 12 were Luis Salom lost his life to pay homage and conclude an emotional weekend.

"He will always be in our thoughts and the best way to remember him is to continue showing our love as a family" Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro: “Even though I am really pleased with my performance today, I have to say that it was a hard weekend and the race was especially challenging but my main target was to finish the GP for Luis so I put in 200% effort and achieved it. When I was sitting on the grid, I was a bit unsure about which rear tyre to run. I had used the medium compound all weekend long, yet the majority of the grid was going for another option and only Bradley, Dani and me picked the medium compound. Now I believe it was definitely the right choice, especially because we were able to be strong in the opening laps after a good start. Then, I kept the distance from Cal and pushed until the chequered flag.

“Looking back on the weekend, I have to say that I believe it was the right choice to continue the event. In our sport we showed that we are a big family, and even if all of us didn’t know Luis, we gave our respect to him, with the three best riders in the race demonstrating this by putting on the memorial shirts as well as all the riders running Luis’ number. We had to make some important decisions in the safety commission to show the world that we care and that we are united but, he will always be in our thoughts and the best way to remember him is to continue showing our love as a family. Next up we have a test tomorrow, and then after that it will be round 8 in the Netherlands.”