Espargaro has “no regrets” exiting KTM without a win
Espargaro joined KTM for its debut season in 2017 and spearheaded development of the RC16, bringing the marque its first MotoGP podium in 2018 in a wet Valencia race before adding five dry rostrums in 2020.
Ending the campaign fourth in the standings without scoring that elusive race victory, while KTM managed three wins with rookie Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, Espargaro has expressed no hard feelings over this as he departs for Honda in 2021.
“I promise you I’m not lying. It’s not what I was looking for at KTM,” Espargaro said when asked if it was hard to leave KTM without a win.
“For sure I wanted to win, but it was not something… many people have asked me in the media debriefs ‘ah, you need to win?’.
“For sure I always want to win, I always go on track with that winning mentality, but it doesn’t always happen.
“And in the end, if you see the result of [Joan] Mir he’s world champion by winning just one race. Winning isn’t always what you need.
“It’s just sometimes for me the knowledge is more important, the results day by day, the people around me, the results we did through the whole season.
“Five podiums is five days super-happy, and maybe one victory is one day happy. With two pole positions, I didn’t miss anything.
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“For sure what I miss was that race in the Czech Republic, to finish it, because I think I was very strong and I had big chance to win that race [before a race-ending collision with Johann Zarco].
“But apart from that, no regrets. I gave my all and if the win didn’t come, it’s because I didn’t deserve it or because I didn’t make the correct move in the time I needed to.
“I had it many times, just that time [at Brno] it was out of our hands, but the last two times [in the Austria races] where we could fight for the win it was our problem, our mistakes that makes us not win.
“So, no regrets. I’m pleased with myself and super-happy with what I achieved in the end.”
Espargaro secured fourth in the standings with a fourth-place finish in Portugal last Sunday, and says he takes a “full bank” of knowledge with him to Honda next year.
“To score more points than [Andrea] Dovizioso in a season with five podiums, two pole positions, fourth position [in the championship], super-strong end to the season.,” he added.
“Nothing to say, just I feel proud of what we have achieved as a factory, what I have achieved as a rider and I take a bank full of knowledge to me for the future.
“I can just say thanks, because it has been an amazing time together.”