After a difficult French Grand Prix, Pol Espargaro criticised the 2022 Honda MotoGP motorbike, claiming that he has “no good points” on the RC213V.
The 2022 season has been exceedingly challenging for all Honda racers on the substantially upgraded RC213V, with Espargaro only making the top ten once since his podium on the first day of the race in Qatar back in March.
Espargaro struggled during the whole Le Mans weekend, qualifying 11th and finishing 11th after being knocked out by a late collision for KTM’s Miguel Oliveira.
Even with this situation, he believes he would have ended considerably closer to the lead than the 22.7s he ended up with and confesses, “I feel not quick” on the Honda right now.
“I’m angry with that always when I’ve been riding a bike, normally I felt I was strong in some places. In KTM I was very strong on brakes,” said Espargaro, who looks set to be out of a ride at Honda come the end of 2022.
“I remember one race in Misano where they were much faster than me, I ended up on the podium because I was braking much later than them.
“It was my strong point and I was taking that to the limit.
“Now I feel with the Honda I have no strong points. I’m suffering stopping, I’m suffering in the middle of the corner, and I’m struggling on acceleration.
“So, that’s why I arrived 20s behind the first because I have no strong points. I feel not fast, I’m not fast and I’m not riding well.”
Because he has no good areas on the Honda, he was unable to pass any racers in Sunday’s Le Mans race.
“One of the major challenges I’m having with this bike right now is that I can’t overtake,” he added. I don’t believe I have a strong enough position to challenge the other riders.
“I was losing quite a lot on the acceleration, with the pure grip.
“I was behind the KTMs, behind Brad [Binder], who is braking not too bad and braking is the only place I could gain time.
“But because I was losing on acceleration I was needing to recover the time on braking, plus needing to brake much later.
“I tried to overtake the KTMs like six times during the race and that sixth time I went wide because it’s impossible.
“You don’t have a strong point, so as soon as I get stuck behind someone I am not able to overtake.”
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