Pol Espargaro reckons he’ll be “super nervous” ahead of his first test on the Honda MotoGP bike as it’s a moment he has always “been trying to imagine”.
The 2013 Moto2 world champion joins the factory Honda squad for 2021 following a four-year stint with KTM from 2017-2020, during which time he scored six podiums.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing November’s traditional post-season tests to be scrapped, Espargaro hasn’t ridden the RC213V yet and won’t until March’s Qatar test following the cancellation of the Sepang outing in February.
In an interview released by Honda following the release of the first images of him as an HRC rider, Espargaro couldn’t hide his excitement to ride the RC213V for the first time.
“I can already tell I am going to be nervous, super nervous, shaking and I don’t think I will sleep the day before,” he said when asked what his first Honda test will be like.
“This is a chapter in my life that I have always been trying to imagine.
“I am really looking forward to the moment I get on the bike for the first time, I think it’s a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life and I really want to enjoy it.”
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Espargaro will partner six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez at Honda, though its unclear when the latter will be back in action as he continues recovery from an arm operation in December.
Both riders enjoyed a strong rivalry in the lower categories of the world championship, with Espargaro admitting partnering Marquez was a major motivating factor in his decision to join Honda.
“To share the team with Marc, I think it was another reason I wanted to come into the Repsol Honda Team,” he added.
“I have been fighting with Marc in the smaller categories for many years and I had so much fun, I’ve grown with him by fighting race-by-race and this makes me the rider I am today.
“When you fight against one of the greatest riders in the world you tend to improve much faster.
“The best way to improve yourself is to be beside the guy who is the same, or even better, than you.
“So that’s why I moved, I want to see my level compared to Marc who is for sure one of the best on the grid.”