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
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Aleix Espargaro
Teams Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Author Lewis Duncan
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021