Are Honda and Pol Espargaro aiming for a contract extension after 2022? – From today’s point of view, yes, but his manager knows how to, that can change a lot in MotoGP
(Motorsport-Total.com) – Pol Espargaro is about to start his second season in the Honda factory team. From a sporting point of view, the switch from KTM to the Japanese has so far not brought him the success he had hoped for. A second-place finish was Espargaro’s best result in 2021, while teammate Marc Marquez has won three races.
Pol Espargaro faces a crucial season in his career Zoom
Nevertheless, optimism reigns at Espargaro. He got to know the RC213V and the team for a year. In addition, the complete redevelopment of the motorcycle should be the hoped-for step forward. 2022 will be very important because Espargaro’s contract expires at the end of the season.
"The situation is very simple", Homer Bosch, Espargaro’s manager, tells the Spanish edition of ‘Motorsport’.com’. "We have full confidence in the team. They have told us that they have full confidence in Pol. They will give him every support."
However, rumors have persisted for several weeks that Honda is interested in other riders. Marquez is fit again and will take part in testing in Malaysia. His contract is valid until 2024 inclusive. Could therefore Espargaros place wobble?
Espargaro must vacate his seat?
Honda is said to be interested in Joan Mir (Suzuki) and world champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) behind the scenes. If both realize in the coming weeks that they can’t fight for the world title on their bikes, the transfer merry-go-round could begin.
Is Espargaro’s manager worried about this? "From our side, the matter is clear", Answer Bosch. "Pol wants to win with this bike. We hope that the Honda is the bike to be at the top."
Photo gallery: The career highlights of Pol Espargaro
"But we have not yet talked about a contract extension. I don’t think that makes sense at this point. This is not only true for us, but for every team in general. We have to wait for the season to start and see what eight Ducatis can do."
"We also need to see what Honda is doing. Then we can start thinking", Bosch says. In January it was quiet this time. In past years, there were already official contract extensions at this time. Now everyone is waiting to see what the balance of power will be like during the tests.
"If you look at the statements of managers, you would have thought that before the tests already signed a rider. But I don’t see that at the moment", says Espargaro’s advisor, who also looks after Moto2 rider Albert Arenas.
Honda has high hopes for the new prototype Zoom
"I think everyone is waiting for the first three or four races to finish. When we then come to Europe, everyone will thread the needle. Before I doubt it. Perhaps there is a team that wants to secure its driver, but we’ll have to wait and see."
"From our side and from the team side, the intention is to continue. But from now on many things can happen. In life nothing is prescribed. Depending on the first races we will make our decisions."
"But if you ask me now, both parties want to continue", Bosch emphasizes and justifies: "It would not be logical not to continue with a rider who is getting on better and better with the motorcycle. The team is in a positive mood also thanks to Marc’s recovery."
"It just makes sense to continue along this line than to try something new. You have to adjust to the Honda, Any new rider would have to go through this process. Pol wants to win with Marc on the track. He wants to fight with him in the races. Marquez knows the bike very well. The faster he goes, the more Pol will improve."