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Espargaro admits Honda 2024 method however will stay KTM MotoGP check rider

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Espargaro raced with Honda in 2021 and 2022 having spent 4 seasons with KTM prior, earlier than returning to the Austrian marque this yr with the GasGas-branded Tech3 outfit.

FEATURE: What compels a MotoGP rider to return to something that almost killed them?

The eight-time podium finisher has misplaced his race seat at Tech3 for 2024 in favour of Moto2 champion-elect Pedro Acosta, with Espargaro signing on as a KTM check rider.

On Friday on the Malaysian Grand Prix, Honda staff boss Alberto Puig instructed DAZN that Espargaro was an actual possibility to interchange Marc Marquez in 2024, together with Luca Marini and Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Honda is eager to supply solely a one-year deal to maintain its choices open for 2025, which dominated out earlier favorite Miguel Oliveira.

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Espargaro confirmed as a lot, however insists he’ll stay a KTM check rider – which may even contain wildcard outings – in 2024.

“I have already got an excellent relationship with Alberto from the previous,” Espargaro mentioned when requested by Autosport if he was contemplating returning to Honda.

“I feel he’s an excellent man and he’s doing his job nicely. Honda is in a really tough state of affairs due to Marc.

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Manufacturing facility Racing

“All of the riders are contracted to a manufacturing facility, so let’s say the perfect riders or riders with extra choices have contracts for subsequent yr. So, the state of affairs is important for them.

“That’s to not blame Honda, it’s only a laborious state of affairs. Yeah, I spoke with Alberto to see how was the state of affairs.

“However then I additionally had a chat with the Pierer Mobility Group [KTM] guys, my bosses, and we realised for the each events it was higher to stick with this undertaking, until we see this undertaking a world champion.

“The contract runs out subsequent yr, so I shall be free, so we’ll want to debate with KTM if one thing comes.

“However in the meanwhile I’m happy the place I’m. I actually thank Honda, as a result of to go away after which get a name to come back again, because of this the job performed was not too dangerous and the connection with them has all the time been good, even when the outcomes had been powerful.

“I’m happy with that, which means loads to me. However my future is totally different.”

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Espargaro’s Honda hyperlinks had been shocking given his struggles with the marque, with the Spaniard admitting on the finish of final yr that he only felt like a factory HRC rider for one year.

Regardless of this, Espargaro says he felt he was “an excellent possibility” for Honda for 2024.

“I imply, Honda’s drawback is for one yr and it’s clear, as a result of Marc leaves in the course of the contract,” he added when Autosport requested if the supply of a two-year deal would have tempted him.

“So, they’re in bother with that and so they want one man for one yr. And in the event that they want to decide on one man with expertise, that is aware of different bikes and methods to enhance the bike.

“I really feel I used to be an excellent possibility for that undertaking, however as I mentioned I actually need to see myself in a couple of years… perhaps, I don’t know, I’d go to Honda and the outcomes are good.

“You by no means know, Honda is Honda. After which I keep 25, 26, you by no means know.

“However I actually imagine after this winter I’m going to be again with an excellent degree. However it’s what it’s. However I select to remain and I respect a lot Honda. I respect Alberto, he’s performed an excellent job.”

Espargaro insists he looks like he belongs on the MotoGP grid, however conceded that his present bodily and psychological limitations following his huge crash in Portugal which dominated him out for half a season means the KTM position is probably extra “what I want”.

He additionally famous KTM remains to be eager so as to add two extra bikes to the grid for 2025, however says this isn’t one thing he’s totally targeted on by way of his personal future.

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