"Not fair" Aprilia fast in MotoGP after Gresini death - Espargaro

Aleix Espargaro says it’s “not fair” that Aprilia is showing the strongest MotoGP form it ever has so far in 2021 after the death of long-time team boss Fausto Gresini.

"Not fair" Aprilia fast in MotoGP after Gresini death - Espargaro

Double 125cc world champion and veteran team boss Gresini passed away in February after a two-month battle with COVID-19.

MotoGP has carried several tributes to the late Italian since, including a moment of silence ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix, while Aprilia – whose factory entrant is run by Gresini Racing – carries its late team boss’ name on its RS-GPs.

Ahead of last Sunday’s race in Portugal, MotoGP joined together with the Formula 1 paddock in Gresini’s hometown of Imola for a minute of silence.

Espargaro finished just 8.8 seconds from the win in Portimao, with his sixth place finish only the sixth time Aprilia has recorded a top-six finish in MotoGP. The result also put him sixth in the championship.

Speaking after the race, Espargaro said the turn of speed Aprilia is showing with its new RS-GP in 2021 is making him “angry” that it is happening without Gresini there to share in the celebrations.

“I’m proud about what we are doing, I believe he is watching,” Espargaro said of Gresini.

“But I feel very sorry because it’s my fifth season here and why does it have to be the season that I’m fast like this without him?

PLUS: Why 2021 is Aprilia's most important season

“It’s not fair, I’d really love to see his face after I arrive to the garage after a race like this.

“Fausto believed a lot in my potential. I think one of the team managers that believed more in my talent from a long time ago.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“So, now I’m fighting at the top with his bike and his project but he’s not here, it makes me a little bit angry.

“But, anyway, I’m sure what we did for him between MotoGP and Formula 1 is just one more example of how big Fausto was, how important Fausto was.”

Espargaro says he thought he’d be closer to the podium in Portugal, but a lack of grip in the hot temperatures compromised his performance.

Despite the setback, he is “100%” convinced that Aprilia will be on the podium in 2021.

“I think step by step, the season is very long,” he added.

“We’re P6 in the championship, I fight in the podium group in the three races more or less and this gives me a lot of confidence.

“Step by step I will be able to improve my confidence and fight for the podium.

“Sincerely, after the warm-up, I was quite sure I was able to fight for it, but I had no grip due to the track temperature and I spin a lot.

“Anyway, I’m happy overall with my performance. To go top six in MotoGP with Aprilia is something important, but I think Jerez we can be even closer.

“So, step by step this year we will be on the podium, 100%, we will not wait till next year.”

shares
comments
Injured MotoGP rider Jorge Martin to be replaced by Rabat at Jerez

Previous article

Injured MotoGP rider Jorge Martin to be replaced by Rabat at Jerez

Next article

Miller “in the trenches” after poor MotoGP run

Miller “in the trenches” after poor MotoGP run
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Aleix Espargaro
Author Lewis Duncan
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
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021