Aleix Espargaro has proved he's "a top-level rider" in MotoGP

Aleix Espargaro believes he’s proved he’s “a top-level” MotoGP rider at Aprilia and doesn’t believe having a stronger team-mate will dramatically boost development of the RS-GP.

Aleix Espargaro has proved he's "a top-level rider" in MotoGP

Espargaro made a solid start to his fifth season as an Aprilia rider in the Qatar double-header, qualifying inside the top 10 for both races and scoring seventh and 10th-place finishes.

This is in stark contrast to team-mate Lorenzo Savadori, whose lack of MotoGP experience has meant he qualified last for both races and achieved a best finish of 19th in the opening rounds.

Savadori was chosen over double MotoGP podium finisher Bradley Smith for the second Aprilia seat, while a test for Andrea Dovizioso at Jerez this week has fuelled rumours of the veteran Italian returning to race action in 2021 with Aprilia.

Though Dovizioso’s manager batted away such rumours, his test of the RS-GP has been seen as a clear sign of Aprilia’s improvement over the winter after the ex-Ducati rider shunned a race contract with the Italian marque for 2021 originally.

Read Also:

When asked if a stronger team-mate than Savadori would boost Aprilia’s development potential, Espargaro felt the work he has done in this regard has been “enough”.

“I think that I proved I’m a top-level rider and what I say to the engineers is enough to improve the bike.

“Actually, I think with my comments last year, everybody with the engineers in Noale did a very, very good job on the new bike.

“They know what we are missing to fight for the podium, not to be in top 10.

“So, they know perfectly, they are working in Noale and we are hoping to receive new stuff around Mugello race.

“So, I don’t think a strong team-mate will change anything on this side.”

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro says he is “fully confident” he has a package capable of fighting for podiums when MotoGP returns to Europe starting with next weekend’s Portuguese GP.

“The acceleration of the bike is sincerely [an] unbelievable the step we did from last season,” he added following the Doha GP.

“I didn’t lose ground in the middle of the track, I think we’re in a very similar level to our competitors.

“But on the straight it’s unbelievable the difference. We lose, especially in fifth and sixth gear, close to 20km/h. So, it’s very difficult in a track like this to fight.

“But I think Portimao, Jerez we’re going to do very, very good races, I’m sure we’re going to fight for top six.

“So, I’m disappointed because I think we lost good opportunities here in Qatar, but anyway we are eighth in the championship, not far, so I can’t wait for Portimao and Jerez.”

shares
comments

Related video

Petrucci "too big" for KTM MotoGP bike
Previous article

Petrucci "too big" for KTM MotoGP bike

Next article

Mir has to ride MotoGP qualifying laps in "unnatural" way

Mir has to ride MotoGP qualifying laps in "unnatural" way
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022