We’ve never known a MotoGP driver to hate racing, but trauma does strange things to people. Aleix Espargaro has finally overcome his and learned to love his job again.
The Italian GP should be the worst kind of deja vu for this Espargaro brother. In 2015, he started in fifth place but ended up crashing into another driver and throwing himself out of contention. However, he’s banished the ghosts of the past and returned with all of his fighting spirit intact after making a run of three top six finishes this year. Plus, he and Suzuki have been working on combating a serious lack of engine power and have been making near constant upgrades and enhancements.
“Mugello is a very fast track where we can exploit some positives with our GSX-RR, therefore I’m curious to get there soon. Last year, we arrived here with some worries because we lacked in engine power, but this year the situation is different and we can count on more efficiency. Recently, we have been making many steps forward, we’re finding good solutions for the set-up and my positive feeling has increased a lot. I’ve found my joy for riding again. In France we couldn’t finalise a good result because I lacked in feeling with the front tyre, but the improvements we did were very positive. Mugello will be fun, there are always a lot of people there and you can feel their passion.”
We have great empathy for anyone haunted by a bad run and are glad he’s back on his feet (or wheels) again. Of course, we’d love for him to gain a podium finish, as would Aprilia. But no matter what happens, his love for the challenging Mugello track will apparently remain undiminished. He’s not one for letting bad memories destroy his favourite places.