MotoGP

Aleix Espargaro signs new Aprilia MotoGP deal for 2021, 2022

Aleix Espargaro pens a new deal with the Aprilia MotoGP team that will keep him with the Italian manufacturer for the 2021 and 2022 MotoGP seasons

Aleix Espargaro will continue with the Aprilia MotoGP team for the next two seasons after agreeing a fresh deal that will keep him at the Italian manufacturer for the 2021 and 2022 MotoGP World Championship seasons.

The Spaniard was coming to the end of his current deal this season – for what would be his fourth campaign with Aprilia – but will now remain for another two years.

The contract extension comes despite the brand-new Aprilia RS-GP – which features an all new 90-degree V4 engine – having not raced competitively yet due to the ongoing delays prompted by the coronavirus crisis.

Nonetheless, Espargaro has waxed lyrical about the quality of the new machine, saying it has the performance to challenge for podiums this year.

“I am happy about this confirmation. 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.”

Though Aprilia has endured a troubled winter period after Andrea Iannone was handed a drugs suspension – which he is currently appealing – Espargaro provides the team with some much-needed continuity.

“We wanted Aleix’s confirmation by all means and we are very happy that it arrived. At a rather tumultuous time for the rider market, providing continuity for our project with a rider the calibre of Aleix is essential. 

“With him, who we have established as our captain, we have begun an entirely new project, involving new resources and taking a bike that seems to have come out very well onto the track. Now we hope that he will soon take an Aprilia to the top, where it has never been in MotoGP history.”

Fresh from winning its third WorldSBK title, Aprilia returned to MotoGP full-time in 2015 but has struggled to mount a competitive challenge to the front of the field, with a best result of sixth place from five seasons of competition.

Nonetheless, Espargaro, who joined from Suzuki, has regularly out-performed his team-mates – Sam Lowes, Scott Redding and Iannone – between 2017 and 2019.
 

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