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MotoGP Italian GP

Aleix Espargaro ‘hates seeing how easy’ Ducati MotoGP bike is to ride

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro says he “hates” how “easy” Ducati riders appear to be riding their MotoGP bike in 2023.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Espargaro battled through a heel injury from a cycling accident at Mugello last weekend to qualify eighth and stay there for the sprint, before snatching sixth from KTM’s Jack Miller in the Italian Grand Prix.

Ducati dominated the weekend at Mugello, with Francesco Bagnaia taking pole, sprint victory, grand prix win and fastest lap, while the Italian brand locked out the rostrum in both contests.

It has won all but one grand prix in 2023 and all but two of the sprints.

Commenting on Ducati’s form in MotoGP right now, Espargaro said: “The thing I hate the most is how easy you see how they ride.

“Even Pecco’s pole position lap, he had no movement at all. It looked like a Formula 1 [car], with the stability they have.

“It’s crazy the amount of power they are able to put on the ground. So, we could not match this.”

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro admits his grand prix form came as a surprise as he felt like his foot injury would have held him back, given how bad he felt during FP1.

But he also notes, regardless of injury, Aprilia “didn’t have the competitiveness” to match the Ducati riders in the grand prix.

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“Sincerely, I didn’t expect to ride like this after free practice one,” he said.

“I couldn’t ride [after FP1], it was crazy the pain that I had. I will go to the hospital to do more tests because the doctors really don’t understand why I have that much pain, why the pain is full of blood if nothing is broken.

“I need to do more tests, maybe it’s something to do with ligaments or whatever.

“I had quite a lot of drugs for the race. I didn’t have a lot of pain, but I couldn’t really use the rear brake.

“So, I just leave the foot on the peg without playing with the foot and I finished really, really tired.

“I was not able to ride free, but it’s not an excuse. We didn’t have the competitiveness to match the Ducatis.”

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