MotoGP Silverstone: Pol Espargaro: Rib injuries recovered, out to recapture 2021 form | MotoGP

But the rug was rapidly pulled from under him, with only one top ten finish (ninth) in the ten races since and Honda’s new RC213V likewise absent from the rostrum.

Add in three DNFs and a non-start at Assen due to his Sachsenring rib injuries and the summer break couldn’t come soon enough for Espargaro, who has dropped from third to 17th in the world championship standings.

The Spaniard will now start what looks like his final nine races for Repsol Honda, before a predicted return to KTM, at Silverstone this weekend.

The British Grand Prix was the scene of Espargaro’s only pole position, and indeed front row start, as a Honda rider to date, which was followed up with fifth place in last year’s race.

That proved to be Espargaro’s best finish of the 2021 season outside of the Misano podium and the #44 will be hoping the high-grip nature of the Silverstone track can again work in his and the struggling RCV’s favour.

“I have had a good break, being able to recover from the rib injuries in Germany and get back to training,” Espargaro said.

“Last year we had a great weekend in Silverstone and I will working hard to try and recapture that result, but there’s work to do.

“It’s a track which suited us last year so hopefully we can start this second part of the year better than the races before the break.

“It was a great break but now I am ready to get back to racing and the Repsol Honda Team.”

With team-mate Marc Marquez continuing to recover from arm realignment surgery, HRC test rider Stefan Bradl will be making his sixth appearance of the year – but first at Silverstone since 2016 with Aprilia.

“We come back to racing after a good break,” said Bradl, still seeking his first points of the year. “It has been a little bit of time since I raced at Silverstone so getting back up to speed around the track will be one of our first jobs.

“Then we can get into the real work of the weekend and see what is possible. It is good to be back racing, the break was nice but there is nothing like racing in MotoGP.”

Bradl, a Silverstone winner in Moto2, took his best premier-class result of sixth place as an LCR Honda rider in 2013.

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