Once Honda announced Joan Mir as Espargaro’s replacement for the 2023 MotoGP season, the Spaniard was left with similar machinery as the first part of the season.
On the other hand, Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami were being given new parts in order to develop them for the following season – this included Ducati-like rear winglets, a new Kalex swingarm, chassis and rear ride-height device.
When Espargaro was on the way out of KTM to join Honda for 2021, new parts were still made available to the former Moto2 champion despite news of his departure being confirmed.
However, that was far from the case at Honda and Espargaro has criticised the Japanese manufacturer for it.
“That’s how I worked at KTM. At KTM, up to Valencia, I tried new things,” said Espargaro.
“In Valencia it was the first time I tried the rear lowered [device] for them, which is now a big thing, so in the last race I tried the rear device for them and helped them improve it.
“They’re different ways of working. I think what I’m leaving is wrong, I really think so, but it’s their way of doing things. I’m nobody to tell them how to do things, I’m just a rider riding a motorcycle, that’s all.
“It’s hard to accept, but it’s not my brand, it’s not my bike, I’m just a guy they pay to ride a bike, that’s all. I do what they want.
“I certainly don’t like it, and it seems to me that they wasted their time and money on me, because I could have been motivated and at full capacity, making results and enjoying things more.
“But ultimately, I don’t know if they don’t do it because they don’t want to or because they can’t, so that’s where I’m at now.”
‘Bad results’ at Repsol Honda ‘painful’, says the MotoGP veteran
A dream move at the time of signing for Repsol Honda, Espargaro’s time with the most successful team in MotoGP history was anything but impressive.
There were flashes of brilliance such as pole position at Silverstone and leading 17 of 22 laps at the 2022 season-opener in Qatar, however, Espargaro repeatedly faced the same issues aboard his RC213V which ultimately led to a lack of performance and split between the two sides.
His poor results weren’t just affecting morale on-track, as Espargaro also said after the final race in Valencia that it impacted his private life.
Espargaro added: “You learn a lot from good things, but I think you learn even more from bad ones: how to handle negative and stressful situations.
“I can say that these two years have been the most difficult of my sports career, because it’s not the same to get negative results by wearing normal colours on a normal bike”.
“Doing bad results with these colours is very painful. Honestly, in my private life, this affects a lot. I have two daughters at home who are two years old and enjoying them while doing these results was very difficult for me”.
“Above all you learn that the good times you have to enjoy them, because they are short and fast, while the bad ones hurt a lot because everyone sees you.
“So I hope that the next two years the good things will come and I will be able to enjoy them a little more thanks to these two years.”