Having suffered the injury during the Qatar test just ten days ago the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider is clearly on the back foot this weekend, but when asked about his overall condition Espargaro said that he was, “Better than I thought and I’m so happy to be here.”
Espargaro admitted that he won’t know his general level of fitness until track action gets underway tomorrow, but he is clearly confident that he will be strong enough to ride competitively.
“I have to check it on the bike because I don’t [train for] the power on the bike and the feeling but for sure I’m quite good. I have a plate and four screws [but] it’s not a big plate so it’s good. I’ll have it removed after the season and it’s not a difficult surgery.”
The layout of the Qatar track shouldn’t cause him too many issues, however the Spaniard singled out the opening sector of the lap as a potential difficulty:
“There are some parts of the track that will be harder, for example turns 1-3, and when you have the bike on the straight and have to make a big movement so there are some parts in the fast corners that I have to make strong movements but it’s not the worst track in the world.”
Espargaro is almost never without a smile on his face and when asked about making his debut the 23 year old beamed:
“I’m so excited but for sure we have a small handicap [due to injury] but we’re better than some other riders because we tested here a few days ago so we’ve a small advantage. We have to be careful at the start and ride smoothly in the first session.”
Espargaro’s older brother Aleix will also be on the MotoGP grid this Sunday, riding for Forward Yamaha.