Pol Espargaró, the young Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer, zooms past the competition. Despite being only 23-years-old, the skilled rider has an impressive list of achievements already under his belt. At 15, he became the youngest person to score a point at the Grand Prix, and is currently best known for winning the 2013 Moto2 World Championship. With lofty accomplishments like these, there’s no stopping Espargaró.
Q: At the age of 2, most toddlers have just mastered the ability to walk. How were you able to ride a bike for the first time when you were that young?
When you are a child, you are not really aware of what you do. Someone puts a bike under your legs and you, not knowing why, open the throttle and go away. I can’t say that I remember that moment perfectly…I guess that youth makes you a little bit innocent and lets you ride on a bike even though you do not know how to walk very well.
Q: You are best known for winning the 2013 Moto2 World Championship, but what’s a personal victory outside of the motorcycle world?
It’s related to my work. I have learned as an athlete, both from the physical and the psychological point of view, about the sacrifices you must make. I’m really proud of being able to follow a healthy way in my life. For me, that is a victory.
Q: Safety must be a big concern. Psychologically, how do accidents affect you as a rider?
We are really prepared and we don’t live through these situations as a common person who has an accident in the street. Crashing is really normal in our world – something you cannot prevent. You crash, and then you stand up. Sometimes you have a big accident, and then maybe you are a little bit more careful when you go through that point the next time. But you forget about it really soon.
Q: Can you describe the feeling of riding to someone who has never been on a bike before?
It’s difficult to explain; you must feel it. They can tell you that it is fun or amazing, but you will never find the words to explain what it is like to be outside there on one of these bikes. It’s incredible; it’s a rush of adrenaline. You reach your limits.
Q: How is it like having your older brother, Aleix, compete in the same sport? Any friendly sibling rivalry?
It conveys tranquility, and also let you have a lot of information. We can train together; you can share feelings with him. You know you have someone close in case you need it, and in a world like this, that is like a treasure. It’s something I have that my rivals don’t have. It has been really useful for me in these years at this championship.
Q: What’s the weirdest talent you have that you can definitely brag about?
Mmmmm… Right now I can’t find any other talent than the one I practice every day. But this is not weird… In the past I was very good at badminton. I was the under 13 Catalan Champion. And also I used to knit to relax… And I was good. But this is the past!
Q: If your motorbike was a Transformer, what do you wish it could morph into?
Buf… Too aggressive! Ok. During one of our last flights, I watched ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ and I can imagine my bike transforming to Optimus Prime. For sure, that’s how I would become a World Champion several times!!!
Q: Would you rather be incredibly handsome, but dumb. Or incredibly smart, but ugly?
Noooo!!! Ok, I know what I’m supposed to answer, the correct one… but I will say be incredibly handsome, but dumb (laughs). Regrettably, people better accept a dumb, handsome person, than a smart, ugly one (laughs more).
Q: Scenario: In an alternate universal, if you weren’t a motorcycle racer, you would definitely be a _____________________.
Q: What are you like on a Monday morning?
I try to avoid having Monday mornings…
Q: Clapway focuses on the theme of adventure. In your own words, how do you define adventure?
Do something that you are not normally used to doing.
Pol Espargaró offers some words of wisdom:
Q: Picking yourself up after a fall and getting back on a bike must be very scary. How do you recommend people to overcome fear?
Keep doing the thing that scares you. This is the way to overcome fear, trying again and again. For example, if you crash, pick up the bike again. You will eventually realize that you normally don’t crash. That first accident was just an exception.
Q: For our viewers, what’s the best way to calm your nerves before a big event?
Sleep. This calms me a lot and gets the nerves out of my mind.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone looking to pick up racing?
You must know that it’s not possible to win always. You must never give up and it’s really important to exert yourself.
Q: Do you get first date jitters? How should we go about asking someone out on a date?
I try not to. I have tried to sleep before, as I do when I have to races, but it doesn’t work!!! You must be funny. And it helps if you love motorbikes…