Pol Espargaro got his first taste of the Repsol Honda team’s RC213V as testing ahead of the 2021 MotoGP season got underway in Qatar.

Spaniard Espargaro, who will be racing for the Honda factory team this season, was the first full-time rider out on track over the weekend.

Completing his instillation lap, Espargaro returned to the box for his first debrief and set-up adjustments. Short runs were the order for much of the day as the 2013 Moto2 World Champion adapted to life in Repsol Honda team colours. Each lap saw Espargaro improve his time, settling on a best time of 1:55:878 seconds after 68 laps aboard the Honda.

Times were not the focus of the day, with Espargaro and his team working on getting comfortable on the bike and improving his feeling on the Honda RC213V.

“I feel good, there was a lot of work and there will be a lot of work to feel the limits of the bike, but it was great to finally ride the Honda. Today was about getting comfortable on the bike and beginning to understand everything. I am happy with the laps we did,” said Espargaro.

“We kept it very simple today, but we made good progress. Already I am excited to get back out there tomorrow and keep working but for now it’s time to go back to the hotel and start to look at the data to see where we can go better tomorrow. Front end feeling is what I need to understand the most at the moment. I can see this compared to Stefan but this will come with more laps. This is the same anytime you get on a new bike,” he further said.

The 2021 MotoGP starts with the Qatar Grand Prix that is scheduled to be held on March 28.

–IANS

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