Espargaro gets new Aprilia MotoGP deal through 2022

Aprilia has announced it has secured the services of Aleix Espargaro for at least two more years, beginning with the 2021 MotoGP season

Espargaro gets new Aprilia MotoGP deal through 2022

The elder Espargaro brother joined the Italian manufacturer in 2017 after losing his Suzuki ride to Andrea Iannone, and scored Aprilia's joint-best ever result of sixth on his debut on the RS-GP in that year's Qatar Grand Prix.

Espargaro has proven to be a major asset to Aprilia in the seasons since, and has played a major role in the RS-GP's radical overhaul for the 2020 campaign.

Confirming to Autosport a fortnight ago that a new deal with Aprilia was close, Espargaro's commitment to the Italian marque was announced on Tuesday.

"I am happy about this confirmation," said Espargaro.

"The human aspect is extremely important for me, and in four seasons, Aprilia has become my second family, so with this contract, which is certainly the most important of my career, they demonstrated that I am at the centre of this project.

"On a technical level, the growth in recent months convinced me, with the arrival of many reinforcements and the début of the 2020 RS-GP, which did so well in the tests.

"I feel like we need to finish the job we started over the winter. I can't wait to get back together with my entire team and race with the new bike, to take this project where it deserves to be."

Espargaro admitted to Autosport that this contract would likely be his last in MotoGP, but there is now a desire from both parties to perhaps extend their collaboration until 2024.

The identity of Espargaro's team-mate remains unknown at this point, with Iannone currently awaiting to appeal his 18-month ban for a doping violation late last year.

Aprilia has publicly backed Iannone and has repeatedly insisted its desire to retain the Italian.

However, it is beginning to look more likely that outgoing Ducati race winner Danilo Petrucci will be offered a deal from Aprilia.

This latest move in the rider market comes in a busy week for the Espargaro family, after Autosport reported last week that Pol Espargaro will be leaving KTM for Honda at the end of the year.

It is thought Alex Marquez, who is yet to actually race the factory Honda, will be moved to LCR with full works support.

With the Idemitsu-backed Takaaki Nakagami's side of the LCR garage specifically set up for a Japanese rider, Cal Crutchlow will most likely be moved aside to accommodate Marquez.

With options outside of LCR limited, Crutchlow - having made a U-turn on his outlook earlier this year - could be heading for retirement in 2021 after all.

Last week, Autosport also reported that KTM starlet and Moto2 frontrunner Jorge Martin has agreed a deal with Ducati to replace works team-bound Jack Miller at Pramac.

Though talks have been slow due to disagreement over money, Andrea Dovizioso is expected remain with Ducati despite links to KTM in the wake of Espargaro's impending exit.

shares
comments
Why Espargaro signing isn't a disaster for Alex Marquez

Previous article

Why Espargaro signing isn't a disaster for Alex Marquez

Next article

WADA wants Aprilia rider Iannone's MotoGP ban extended to four years

WADA wants Aprilia rider Iannone's MotoGP ban extended to four years
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Plus

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Plus

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
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