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Sunday got off to a strong start for Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), the Spaniard feeling comfortable and confident in the wet. As the race itself began, Espargaro was unable to recreate the feeling and chose to pit earlier than most to change tyre. On lap 17 he came in and was right behind Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who had swapped tyres at a similar point. His strategy seemed to be the correct one and Espargaro felt he was set for a debut premier class podium. Unfortunately his dreams would end the following lap when he crashed out of the race on lap 18.
"Sometimes when you risk a lot and you are one of the first to do so, you take more of a chance than other people and mistakes can be made" Pol Espargaro
While most riders head off for some time away from racing, Espargaro is off to Japan for the Suzuka 8-Hour endurance race. He and the Yamaha Factory team won the event in 2015 and the Spaniard is looking to take back-to-back wins for Yamaha before heading off to KTM in 2017. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team did not run at the private test in Austria.
Pol Espargaro: “It’s easy to admit that I am very disappointed about the race after the performance we have shown over the whole weekend. Unfortunately at the beginning of the Grand Prix, I didn't feel as comfortable as I did this morning because the conditions had changed quite a lot and the track was dryer. Therefore, I struggled a bit and lost a few positions in the opening part of the race. I was behind Marquez when we both decided to change bikes and I'm convinced this was the best strategy today, so in terms of tactics, I think we could have clinched second because Marc won the race with a huge gap. However, sometimes when you risk a lot and you are one of the first to do so, you take more of a chance than other people and mistakes can be made. Of course, it is a pity to close the first half of the season with our first DNF of the year, but at least we could keep 6th and the best satellite rider position in the Championship standings, which is our goal for the year. Now the calendar has three weeks off, but I won’t have as much rest as the other riders because I am heading to Japan to compete in the Suzuka 8 Hours race.”
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