In 2023, Pol Espargaro should no longer be a Honda rider. The 2013 Moto3 World Champion will be replaced at HRC and is set to return to KTM, where he rode from 2017 to 2020. The editorial explains in five points why this is the best decision he can make.
Because there are no results
A year and a half after the unveiling of the Honda RC213V, Pol Espargaro cannot be efficient and correct behind the wheel. Mayonnaise with the Japanese machine is only a rare exception, as evidenced by his record: 27 races, 2 podiums, 140 points, 12th overall in 2021, 17th preliminary in 2022. Numbers that can only push him to the exit.
Because the KTM suited him well (and better)
Pol Espargaro has never been as competitive with a Honda as he is with a KTM RC16. Leading the development of the Austrian bike from 2017 to 2020, the Spaniard ended up creating a machine that suited him and with which he got good results: 5 podiums in 2020 and a fifth place in the championship. A return to KTM would allow him to find a bike that he could be fast with, ride at the front and, why not, fill the missing field on his bucket list: win a race in MotoGP.
Because this might be his last chance
Time passes for everyone, and in high-level sports – very quickly. In 2022, Pol Espargaro will be 32 years old, making him one of the “oldest” drivers in the 2023 World Championship. The coming seasons will undoubtedly be his last, and brands will soon bet on other riders. This opportunity to join KTM may represent the last time he will be offered a contract in MotoGP.
Because Honda has other plans without him
Honda was looking for a replacement and a new partner for Marc Marquez from the winter of 2021-2022. In search of results, HRC has just launched a recovery campaign, hiring Alex Rins and (probably) Joan Mir. The exit door is open for Paul Espargar. It is better to start looking for new adventures elsewhere than to waste time trying to save a place that is already almost lost with a Japanese brand.
Because it can end badly
Pol Espargaro is one of the most frequently crashed riders in MotoGP. The Spaniard served 20 times in 2021 and already 10 times in 2022. Physical problems arising from these incidents saw him sit out Valencia last year, as well as Asen this year. The Honda RC213V abuses him, and with the help of force, he may pay dearly for it. One of his recent predecessors at HRC, Jorge Lorenzo, ended his career partly for this reason: bad crashes with Honda and the fear of serious injury. For The policeit’s better to leave before things get worse.
The riders and bikes that crashed the most in 2021