Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
MotoGP Catalan GP

Espargaro: "Super unfair" if Martin doesn't get MotoGP "ride of his dreams" at Ducati

Departing Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro says it would be “super unfair” if Jorge Martin doesn’t secure the “ride of his dreams” at the factory Ducati MotoGP team next year.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing, Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team.

Current points leader Martin and eight-time world champion Marc Marquez have emerged as the prime candidates to partner Francesco Bagnaia at Ducati in 2025, with Enea Bastianini unlikely to get a contract extension after the end of his current two-year deal.

Pramac’s Martin has strengthened his bid for a promotion within Ducati with an exceptional run of results in the opening five rounds of the year, with victories at Portimao and Le Mans putting him 38 points clear at the top of the standings.

But a factory Ducati ride is far from a given and the Spaniard has made it clear that he would switch to a different manufacturer if he is not chosen to replace Bastianini.

Should such a situation arrive, Aprilia could become a potential destination for the 26-year-old, with a vacancy opening up at the Noale marque following Thursday’s announcement that Espargaro will retire at the end of 2024.

But while Espargaro says he would love to see Martin winning races with Aprilia, he feels last year’s runner-up deserves the most competitive seat on the current grid at Ducati.

“For sure [Aprilia] is a good team and a good bike, but it's not fair [for Martin],” he said. “Jorge deserves the ride of his dreams, which is the factory Ducati.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“If he cannot have it, for me [him joining Aprilia] would be super unfair.

“But yes, it [Aprilia] would be a very good option and it would be amazing to see Jorge winning a title or winning races with the #41 bike."

Espargaro will pull the curtain down on his MotoGP career after the Valencia Grand Prix in November, having already hinted previously that his current deal with Aprilia would be his last.

The Spaniard has played an integral role in Aprilia’s transformation from a perennial backmarker into a race-winning force in MotoGP, with the RS-GP now seen as one of the most competitive bikes on the grid.

He will leave grand prix racing with at least three victories and 11 podiums to his name, figures that arguably don’t do justice to his skill and talent.

Insight: How Espargaro “silenced many mouths” during his underdog MotoGP career

Espargaro will be 35 years-old when he contests his final race in MotoGP, but feels the way he got up from bed in Barcelona on Friday morning vindicated his decision to hang up his helmet.

“Yesterday was an amazing day, one of the best days of my life,” said Espargaro, who announced his retirement in a special press conference on Thursday.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“And this morning when I wake up, the first thing that came into my mind was 'you took the right decision'. I woke up super happy, super relaxed, big relief.

“I was having breakfast with Max [Espargaro, his son] at the motorhome and it was like home, normal. And normally, it's not always like this. You are always thinking.

“So this morning I was very relaxed and also riding the bike super relaxed. So I'm glad I took this decision.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article MotoGP Catalan GP: Espargaro ends Friday practice on top, Marquez into Q1
Next article How a chain change led to a Barcelona MotoGP practice “mess” for Quartararo

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe