Pol Espargaro admitted that it “hurt a lot” seeing KTM running strongly in MotoGP while he was stuck at home recovering from the broken vertebrae he suffered in Portimao.

The GasGas rider has been out of action since crashing during practice for the season opening Portuguese Grand Prix back in March, the Spaniard suffering a total of eight fractures across his body after hitting an unprotected barrier on the outside of Turn 10 at the Algarve International Circuit.

He is finally making his long-awaited comeback at this weekend’s British GP, and admitted that seeing KTM doing well – the Austrian marque having been the main competitor to current pace setters Ducati – “hurt quite a lot” as he felt “I could be there fighting with those guys” should he have been fit enough to compete.  

“I wasn’t suffering so much (missing racing) seeing them (KTM) struggling a bit in Argentina and America, even if some good results were coming they were not performing amazing,” began Espargaro.

“But then in Jerez they were starting to fly and also at Le Mans, and then it began to hurt quite a lot being sat at home.

“I knew I could be there and fighting with these guys, but I’m really happy for them because they’ve been working super hard during the winter.

“I’m going to try and put all my effort from now on to try and improve the bike as much as possible and get good results, so I hope we’ll be at the front as soon as possible.”

Espargaro explained that he had utilised a road-going motorcycle at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya to help speed up his recovery process, the 2013 Moto2 world champion conceding though that he is currently “not quite 100%” in terms of fitness.  

“I’ve been riding at Catalunya a couple of times just trying to feel my body, and everything went well and quite normal I would say,” continued Espargaro.

“I have recovered, not quite 100%, but close to my full power and my body feels not quite the same as before but I just need to adapt and see how my body works with the MotoGP bike which is completely different to a production bike.

“The speed is unbelievable with the power, brakes and acceleration and is not comparable with any bike you can use at home.

“In any case I’m looking forward to jumping back on the bike to see the speed these guys are doing now, it looks amazing so far.”

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