Pol Espargaro and Honda do lead one MotoGP 'championship' in 2021 but…

Pol Espargaro's troubled time on the Honda RC213V are demonstrated by his rather alarming tally of crashes from the first half of the 2021 MotoGP season

Pol Espargaro - Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP 2021

It has certainly been a sobering 2021 MotoGP World Championship season for Pol Espargaro in his efforts to get to grips with the notoriously temperamental Repsol Honda RC213V, one that has brought him down to earth with a bump… literally and repeatedly.

With just under half of the season complete, Espargaro finds himself riding high - or rather, down and out - in terms of crash statistics for the 2021 season after nine races.

Switching from KTM to Honda over the winter, what may have been a logical decision pre-2020 season is turning into one of those ‘Captain Hindsight’ moments as KTM strides forward with its momentum and Honda untangles itself from a bike even Marc Marquez has criticised.

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So far this season Espargaro has hit the deck on 13 occasions, which puts him on course to surpass reigning ‘double champion’ Johann Zarco’s table-topping tumbles of the full 2019 and 2020 seasons - 19 and 17 respectively.

In fact the half-time scores rather typify Honda’s issues with Alex Marquez sitting unpretty in second position with 10 tumbles, while Marc Marquez has nine despite missing the first two rounds and - based on Jerez and Assen - probably holds the mantle for the most brutal crashes that beg the question of how much his body can possibly take at this stage.

If you’re Mama and Papa Espargaro, watching their sons this season has been somewhat painful generally with Aleix also up there with 10 crashes, together with KTM’s Iker Lecuona.

Despite being second in the overall standings, Zarco has committed seven crashes to ‘lead’ Ducati’s tally, even if he’ll need a fairly woeful second half of the year to make it a hat-trick as the ‘Crash King’ (or is that Tumble Jester?)

As for the riders steadiest on their wheels, Fabio Quartararo proves just how much he has matured by tasting Tarmac on only two occasions, a tally matched his Yamaha counterpart Franco Morbidelli and Ducati’s Pecco Bagnaia.