The Spanish rider, who returns to KTM for the 2023 season with his renamed Tech3 GasGas team, said it was “difficult to accept” the team’s decision to pause development on his bike before leaving.
Espargaro struggled this season and finished 16th overall with a best third place finish in the season opener in Qatar. Later in the year he repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction that Honda decided to stop giving him new parts after learning of his KTM return.
He says he only felt like a factory Honda rider for a year because of a “completely useless” 2022 in which he faced “the same issues every weekend.”
When asked if he thought Honda’s decision not to give him new parts was rather short-term, he said: “That’s how I worked at KTM. At KTM I tested new things until Valencia.
“In Valencia it was the first time I tried the rear device for them, which is important now, so in the last race I tested the rear device for them and helped them improve it.
“It’s different ways of working. I think the one I’m leaving is the wrong one, I really think so, but it’s their way of doing things. I’m not one to tell them how to do things, I’m just a rider riding a bike, that’s it.
“It’s hard to accept, but at the end of the day it ends up in the same place. It’s not my factory, it’s not my bike, I’m just a guy they pay to ride a bike, that’s it. Me do, what they want.
“Certainly I don’t like it and I feel like they’re wasting their time and money on me because I could be motivated and energetic and get results and enjoy things more.
“But at the end of the day I don’t know if they don’t do it because they don’t want to or because they can’t, so I’m at that point now.”
During the Valencia weekend, his last with the team, Espargaro expressed his disappointment at his time with the squad and said he was ‘sad’ at the situation.
He added: “I felt like I was a works Honda rider for a year. This year it’s been completely redundant, every single weekend, every race and the same issues and it’s really struggled.
Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Race
Photo by: GasGas Factory Racing
“Usually when I have problems, it’s the way to find a solution. Not all riders have the same riding style, so you have to adapt the bike to each rider, that’s the way to improve, but it wasn’t the case.
“That’s why I’m sad about this situation because I think I have huge potential. I was one of the best in preseason and also in Qatar, but since then the results are starting to bend a bit because of normal problems.
“This is MotoGP, it’s never the same. You have to keep improving and doing things to get better, but we didn’t do it. Well I didn’t, on my side of the box.
“So that’s why I fight so much and at the end of the day it ends the way it is now, which is sad because I think I have potential and hopefully I’ll show it in the future.”
Espargaro said his two years at Honda were “the most difficult two years of my sporting career” and also influenced his private life.
He said: “You learn a lot from the good things, but I think you learn even more from the bad things – how to deal with the bad and stressful situations.
“I can tell you that these two years have been the most difficult two years of my sporting career because it is not the same to get bad results in normal colors on a normal bike.
“Getting bad results with these colors is very painful. Honestly, in my private life it has quite an effect.
“I have two daughters at home who are two years old and it has been quite difficult for me to enjoy them while achieving these results.
“Especially you learn that you have to really enjoy the good moments because they are short and fast and the bad moments here hurt a lot because everyone sees you.
“Hopefully next year and the next two years good things will come and I’ll be able to enjoy them a little bit more thanks to these two years.”