Aprilia retains Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Vinales for MotoGP 2023 and 2024

Title contender Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales will remain with Aprilia Racing for the 2023 and 2024 MotoGP World Championship seasons

Maverick Vinales, Aleix Espargaro - Aprilia Racing

Aprilia Racing has become the first team to confirm both of its riders for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship after agreeing on a new deal to retain both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales.

In what has been a breakthrough season for the Italian manufacturer, both Espargaro and Vinales have penned a two-year contract to keep them at the team until the conclusion of the 2024 MotoGP season.

A clear vote of confidence by the firm towards its riders as it looks to build on its momentum this season, Aprilia’s double confirmation removes two of the more competitive factory options off a rider market shaken-up by the impending exit of Suzuki.

“I’m very happy to announce Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales will continue with Aprilia for the next two years.

"I didn't consider any other [rider] options... Aleix helped to build this 'family' with us and we consider Maverick inside this family."

One of the most experienced riders on the MotoGP grid with 204 starts under his belt since his debut in 2009, Espargaro’s new deal comes in what is destined to become his 13th and best season in the premier class.

Underlined by his and Aprilia’s maiden MotoGP (era) win in Argentina, a trio of podiums since have seen Espargaro emerge as a convincing title contender in what is his sixth season in the team. Preceded by several difficult seasons of slow development, Espargaro is proud to be getting a seventh and eighth season with the outfit.

"I’m very happy," Espargaro said. "We did a good job in the last six years. It’ll be eight years by the end of 2024. It’s extremely good on the human and technical side to stay here. Now I can be even more focused and calm. We have a big opportunity ahead of us this year."

“People said it would be the end of my career when I left Suzuki for Aprilia. They said the same for Maverick coming from Yamaha last year. But we arrive here leading the teams' championship."

Though Espargaro had spoken of his frustration at not having come to an agreement with Aprilia over the future, the Spaniard was always considered very likely to remain.

Vinales, on the other hand, might have been considered more at risk in recent weeks following a stimulated rider market that was rumoured to be tempting Aprilia bosses into an alternative option.

However, while his results have been overshadowed by Espargaro, Vinales has complemented Aprilia’s step forward in 2022 and is pleased to assure his future less than a year after his dramatic mid-season exit from Yamaha.

“I'm very happy to continue with the progress and work here," said Vinales. "It’s a boost of confident to be inside a high level factory like Aprilia and we are building up strongly. As soon as I entered the Aprilia family I felt it was my place."