The Aprilia rider miscalculated how many laps were left in the Catalan Grand Prix two weeks ago and backed off at the start of the final lap believing he’d taken the chequered flag.
It wasn’t until he got to Turn 3 that he realised his error and quickly recovered to fifth, having been sat in second when he made the mistake.
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He later explained that difficulties in seeing his pitboard and the way the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya timing tower ticks off laps – registering zero as the final tour – led to his mistake.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, Espargaro revealed how badly the mistake affected him.
“For sure I will try to forget as soon as I jump on the bike tomorrow in FP1,” he said on Thursday in Germany. “But I have to say that this time I struggled more to forget.
“On Sunday I night I couldn’t sleep, the test was very difficult for me on Monday, but also on Tuesday and Wednesday. I was training with the bicycle, the thing that I love the most, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the mistake.
“I was angry with myself because I tried to repeat to myself that it was just a human mistake, they can happen, forget it. So, then I decided at the last moment to do a trip to Euro Disney with my kids to forget the diet, to not train for two days and to have fun.
“It worked really good. I disconnected, now I’m back. I completely forget what happened in Barcelona. It was just a stupid mistake, but when you are fighting for a title like I am this year, everything is bigger.
“So, hopefully I can recover some points here in Germany.”
The mistake proved costly in the championship battle, as Espargaro slid 22 points adrift of Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo after the Frenchman won the Barcelona race.