2022 MotoGP title fight now “very tight”, says Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro believes the current MotoGP championship picture following the British Grand Prix has set up “a very, very tight” title battle.

2022 MotoGP title fight now “very tight”, says Aleix Espargaro

Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo was only able to grow his points lead by one to 22 in last weekend’s Silverstone race, after a long lap penalty meant he got mired in a pack and only finished eighth.

An injured Espargaro, who fractured his right heel in a 115mph crash in FP4, shadowed Quartararo in the race as he battled traction issues, while Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia won to cut his points deficit down to 49 having been 91 adrift after the German GP in June.

With Bagnaia achieving back-to-back wins and looking much stronger on the GP22 than in the beginning of the season, as well as the emergence of Maverick Vinales on the second Aprilia, Espargaro believes the championship battle is now more finely poised as the second half of the campaign gets underway .

“I think race by race if the Ducatis are starting to improve and I’m able to maintain my high level and also Maverick is able to put my bike on top, this is more pressure for the leader,” Espargaro said.

“So, that’s good for me.

“I think they [Ducati with Bagnaia] really made a big step in the championship.

“It’s not going to be easy for them because they have two races of disadvantage [in terms of points], but they have a lot of bikes, so they can do a lot of team work.

“And now we go to two tracks which are good for Pecco in Austria and Misano, so I think everything is open.

“So, I think we’ll have a very, very tight last eight races of the championship.”

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro has been ordered by doctors to rest for the next week after he was diagnosed with a heel fracture on the Monday following the British GP.

At present, there is no suggestion he will be absent from next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Espargaro admits beating Ducati at Red Bull Ring will be “difficult”, but is buoyed by the Aprilia package being generally strong everywhere this season.

“I think this year the Aprilia is working quite good everywhere,” he added.

“Almost every race we put one bike on the podium, which is good.

“For sure Austria is a very good track for Ducati, it’s quite easy for them, they have a really powerful bike and it will be difficult to beat them there.

Read Also:

“But this championship is very open, you never know when you can win, when you can be there and this is not about one race.

“You have to be strong mentally, you have to be stable.

“It’s not about one race is perfect, the other is a disaster. You have to be stable everywhere, so I hope I can fight again for the podium in Austria.”

shares
comments

Related video

Pol Espargaro doesn’t think Honda is reacting to MotoGP woes
Previous article

Pol Espargaro doesn’t think Honda is reacting to MotoGP woes

Next article

Retiring MotoGP ace Dovizioso "really didn't expect" Yamaha struggles

Retiring MotoGP ace Dovizioso "really didn't expect" Yamaha struggles
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Plus

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Plus

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems Plus

Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Plus

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Plus

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Plus

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future Plus

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022
The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize Plus

The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize

OPINION: Francesco Bagnaia has put one hand firmly on the 2022 MotoGP world title after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix, and the permutations are weighted heavily in his favour heading to the Valencia finale. But as Ducati stands on the cusp of something it has longed for since 2007, the Sepang race also hinted towards a future problem…

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2022