Pol Espargaró picked up his first eight points as a Repsol Honda Team rider at the opening Grand Prix of the 2021 season. Starting twelfth on the grid at Losail, the Spanish rider climbed four positions, imposing a strong pace and concluding the contest in eighth.
Teammate Stefan Bradl also made a good fightback in Qatar. The German, who had qualified seventeenth on Saturday, finished in eleventh place, claiming his first five points of the season.
The second round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship will be the Doha Grand Prix, held this coming weekend at the same track.
“It has been a race of two halves. The start of the race, honestly, wasn’t good as I took too much time to settle into my pace and then I lost some precious time. In the middle of the race, I was one of the fastest riders and I am happy but also angry because I feel that I could have done better. But it is still just the first race so we have to look at the race from this perspective and I needed to finish the race, a crash would not have been good at all. I have gained a lot of information and now we can go again next weekend in the same place understanding our potential better.”
“At the end of the day we have done a good first race and I am pleased. I think we suffered a little bit because of Qualifying, in the race we were able to run well and fight a lot. At the start of the race, I was maybe a little too conservative with the front tyre, I think Pol was more aggressive during this time and I could have gone with him, but it is better to bring the bike home than take too many risks in the first race. Maybe we could have done a little more and stayed with Pol, which would have been nice, but I am still pleased.”