Espargaro ‘doesn’t understand’ why friendly MotoGP title battle isn’t liked

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro says he ‘doesn’t understand’ why the media doesn’t like the fact his MotoGP title battle with Fabio Quartararo is so friendly.

Espargaro ‘doesn’t understand’ why friendly MotoGP title battle isn’t liked

Espargaro has emerged as a surprise championship contender in 2022 aboard the vastly improved RS-GP after taking a maiden win at the Argentine Grand Prix earlier this season.

After 12 races he is just 22 points behind reigning world champion Quartararo and has consistently been a podium contender this season.

What has typified the 2022 title battle is the wholesome nature of the fight between the pair, with Quartararo now even “the idol” of Espargaro’s son Max.

While Espargaro is aware that the pair will likely have more clashes like they did at Assen in June, he sees no reason why his relationship with Quartararo will change away from the race track.

“He’s still the idol of my kid,” Espargaro said at the Red Bull Ring on Thursday ahead of the Austrian GP.

“I’ve said many times, Fabio is a nice guy, and many times from outside of us from the press it looks like you guys don’t like that we are fighting for the world championship and we have a good relationship.

“And I don’t really understand this.

“We clashed already once in Assen, and I’m sure we will clash again during the next races.

“Racing is racing. If we know how far we can go to respect one another, this is racing.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team, Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing crash

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team, Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“We both want to win, but Fabio is a very nice guy.

“He lives beside my house and always when he passes my house he stops, and I hope he can continue stopping on the next years to say hello. But what happens on track stays on track.”

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Quartararo echoed Espargaro’s comments, adding: “I think when we are both racing there is a lot of respect.

“But he wants to win, I want to win. Everyone here wants to win. So, I think it’s not changing anything.

“But we all have a clear goal, and that is to win. So, at the end I think that thing is the most important. But our relationship outside of racing is the same, it will not change.”

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