Pol Espargaro powers through the rain to seize 4th in Assen
Pol Espargaro equalled his best result in the premier class with a 4th place finish in a drama filled and soaking wet Motul TT Assen in front of 105,000 passionate fans. The Spaniard leapt forward when the lights went out at the beginning of the wet race and he carefully navigated around the circuit on the first lap which he completed in 8th. Then, shortly after, Espargaro dropped back six positions yet, he stayed focused and stuck into a consistent pace, which allowed him to move up to 9th by the midway point as he steadily made progress. However, by that time, the weather conditions were considerably worse which lead to the Grand Prix being red flagged. A shortened sprint of 12 laps resumed shortly afterwards and he got straight back to work before concluding the opening lap in 6th. With a third of the total distance left to run, Espargaro slotted into the final podium position as he continued to push, before eventually crossing the line in 4th, closing an incredibly challenging round 8 battle.
Pol Espargaro – Position: 4th – Championship: 6th – Points: 72
“To come away from a tricky event like today with a 4th position in conditions that were completely wet, is like a dream for us. Of course there is a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I just missed out on the podium again, yet with all the crashes that we saw, I had to be careful and think about the Championship. In addition, Scott was clearly faster and able to push a lot more on the front tyre. In the second race we could use the softer rear compound and my feeling with the bike was much better straight away. Therefore, I can say that I believe I have been competitive in wet conditions for the first time since I’ve been in MotoGP. However my legs, arms, fingers, neck and whole body are now aching from the huge tension that we had while riding in these conditions. I must admit that I wished the GP was red flagged a bit sooner because it really was becoming dangerous to ride during the heavy rain. Anyway, the bike worked well, and the only issue we had to face was that, compared to the other manufactures, we struggled to get a feeling with the front tyre. The crashes from Valentino, my teammate and Jorge’s race underline how tough it is for us to find the limit at the front end, so it was challenging to fight with the Honda and Ducati riders. Yet, this result is another important step in the right direction for my standings in the Championship and we have started to open a gap on the other satellite riders and also reduce the gap to Vinales. So we will continue to push and we’ll remain focused so that hopefully, we can finish in a better position before the end of the season.”
Source – Tech3