MotoGP News: Espargaro close to new Aprilia deal, likely to be his last

Aleix Espargaro has revealed he is "really close" to finalising a new Aprilia MotoGP deal for 2021 and beyond, admitting that this will likely be his last contract before retirement

MotoGP News: Espargaro close to new Aprilia deal, likely to be his last

Espargaro has often been critical of the Gresini-run Aprilia squad since coming on board in 2017, having achieved only a best finish of sixth in three seasons and a best championship placement of 14th.

His current contract was due to expire at the end of this year, but said that his positive experience of Aprilia's radically-revised 2020 bike in pre-season testing in February had convinced him to stay at the team.

The 30-year-old also hinted a new agreement with the Italian marque could be longer than two years, but suggested he would likely bow out of MotoGP upon its conclusion.

"The most important thing is that I finished the pre-season with a very good taste in my mouth," Espargaro told Autosport.

"The changes I've been waiting for for the last three years came in two tests and I ended up very happy.

"The talks had stalled until a couple of weeks ago, but we are really close to reaching an agreement.

"I am very happy with Aprilia, I don't have many years left in my career and I have always said that my biggest wish is that the bike works and that I can retire from this team.

"I am sure that if I renew for Aprilia, it will be my last contract.

"I don't know if it will be two years or more, but if the project convinces me and I like it, I will finish my career here.

"I trust and wish that the technical project will continue to grow from now on and in the future, and if that is the case I would like very much to continue to be the leader of this team."

Espargaro has been partnered by three different team-mates in his Aprilia tenure so far, and could end up with a fourth different partner next year depending on whether Andrea Iannone is able to get his 18-month doping ban overturned.

Although Aprilia is known to be keen on retaining Iannone if possible, Danilo Petrucci has also been linked to a potential switch to Aprilia if he is not retained by Ducati, as seems likely.

Espargaro admitted he felt sorry that Ducati had elected to promote Jack Miller to a factory seat at Petrucci's potential expense based on the pair's results last year.

"I know that Aprilia want me and Andrea to continue and keep both riders, but I know there is a bit of a mess with all this," said the Spaniard.

"What I feel bad about is how Danilo has been treated.

"Not only did he win a race, but he made the same points as Miller in 2019 (Petrucci outscored him by 11), and now it seems that Jack Miller is the new Casey Stoner and that Danilo is no good, when last year with the same bike they made the same points.

"In the end time puts everyone in their place, maybe Jack will get on the official bike and do very well, he is young and talented.

"We will see if Ducati will do well."

shares
comments
Why Miller's Ducati move completes MotoGP's changing of the guard

Previous article

Why Miller's Ducati move completes MotoGP's changing of the guard

Next article

How MotoAmerica is paving the way for bike racing's return

How MotoAmerica is paving the way for bike racing's return
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