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24 days ago
By motogp.com

Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro don't gel at Repsol Honda?

MotoGP™ Legend Alex Criville looks at the potential negatives behind Pol Espargaro's move to Repsol Honda in 2021

The announcement that Pol Espargaro had signed for HRC generated a great deal of expectation in the world of MotoGP™, dominating thousands of headlines and provoking a frenzy within both the press and the fans. Some are predicting glory, and some catastrophe, for the future duo formed by Polyccio and Marc Marquez in 2021.

Here at motogp.com, we asked MotoGP™ Legend Alex Criville for his take on the story of the rider market so far and to outline what he sees as the positives and negatives behind the third Repsol Honda line-up in as many years. After hearing what could happen if the duo are a success for the factory Honda team, it’s time to take a look at what could go wrong between the pair.

Marc’s position if Pol reaches his level:

"What does interest Marc is a competitive rider, but not someone who's faster than he is, that’s clear because should he be faster, that will clearly cause a problem for Marc. But I still think Marc is better than everyone; he’s faster, he’s World Champion, one of the greatest of all time, and he’s going to stay that way.”

"What does interest Marc is a competitive rider, but not someone who's faster than he is, that’s clear because should he be faster, that will clearly cause a problem for Marc. But I still think Marc is better than everyone; he’s faster, he’s World Champion, one of the greatest of all time, and he’s going to stay that way.”

The huge challenge of the RC213V, “the most difficult bike on the grid”:

“You have to take into account that the Honda is the most complicated and difficult bike to ride out of them all on the grid, even the Ducati. Also, it’s the most competitive, the fastest and the best all-round, but it’s difficult, and Pol knows this.”

Past tensions and Marc’s history with the team:

“I believe that they’re going to start over, with a good relationship, and that’s that. It’s in everyone’s interest that it goes well. It’s also in Marc’s best interest that Pol is there to help improve the bike and that they agree on various technical aspects to be as strong a possible when it comes to working with the factory in Japan and, obviously, Pol is smart and knows that Marc carries a lot of weight there. Obviously, he’ll have the best bike, the same as Marc, an official bike, but the current World Champion is Marc Marquez. I don’t think there will be favourites in HRC, but he’ll need to know how to play his cards in such a strong team.”

Pol’s adaptation to the bike and getting wrapped up in Marquez’ mind games:

“It’s clear that he’ll be able to do it (adapt to the bike) because he has his own style, which lends itself to riding the Honda fast, but then he has to handle the pressure, the nerves, that he knows he has a ‘heavyweight’ next to him who, at any given moment, can go out and on the second lap break a circuit record whilst you’re still warming up. But he shouldn’t fall into the trap of focusing on these details, sometimes such a great rider as Marc Marquez can really skew the results."

The risks Pol assumes, the possibility of crashing, whilst he’s still adapting to the bike:

“Sometimes it’s inevitable. You don’t think about it but, obviously, when you’re searching for the limit, things happen, things happen to champions and everybody on the grid when you’re looking for the limit, but that’s all part of the game and they all know it.”

The announcement the Alex Marquez is to leave before even riding a race with Repsol Honda:

“At first I felt a bit bad for Alex because he got bumped to another team before he’d even started his championship. That leaves you sort of saying ‘What’s going on here? Don’t they trust me?’. But, they’re going to give him practically the same factory bike in a parallel team. What’s more, he’s young, it’s his first year, I hope this move works out for him."  

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