MotoGP: Blown engine ends weekend from hell for Espargaró

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Aleix Espargaró has been left once again frustrated by his Aprilia team after struggling through the pain barrier all weekend at Silverstone to a good position in Sunday’s race – only to be denied the chequered flag by yet another engine blow-up from his RS-GP machine.

Struggling to breathe on the bike all weekend after damaging the ligaments between his ribs while training on a kart, the Spaniard only managed twelve laps on Saturday thanks to the injury. Despite that, he was able to put on a strong performance in Sunday’s race until the dying seconds, when his engine blew for the third time in a race this season while he was on his penultimate lap, leaving the Aprilia rider frustrated once again.

I have a lot of pain in all my body and I’ve struggled a lot. I’ve raced many times in the past with injuries, but this one has made life really difficult for me because it’s hard to change direction and hard to breathe. It’s been a hard weekend and I didn’t do many laps, and in the race I wasn’t fast because I couldn’t change direction, especially in the beginning with a full tank.

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“At least I could fight for tenth place though, which isn’t bad in MotoGP after a weekend like we had, but once again the engine stopped. It’s unbelievable, because it’s barely half way through and we’ve already broke many engines – and three of them in races. That’s three zeroes because of engine failure in only half a season, and that makes it impossible to be in a good place in the championship standings. I’m pushing as hard as I can do but it’s out of my control.”

And despite the problem coming as part of an ongoing reliability issue for the Italian manufacturer, Espargaró didn’t sound confident after Sunday’s race that any solution would be immediately forthcoming for the firm despite improvements over the summer break.

“In the summer the engineers worked a lot, and they understood the problems that we had in the first part of the season, when we had a completely different issue. But the result now is still the same – zero points. This year has already gone for us, and it’s impossible to recover from that, but the target from next year has to have better races to finish the races, because that’s the first thing we have to improve if we want to be in the top six.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer