Espargaro calls out Dovizioso, gives him hurry up over Aprilia MotoGP decision

Aleix Espargaro calls on Andrea Dovizioso to make a final decision on whether he wants to join Aprilia Racing for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship

Andrea Dovizioso - Aprilia Racing

Aleix Espargaro says he doesn’t understand why potential new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso hasn’t yet communicated a decision on whether to join Aprilia Racing for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship.

The experienced Italian - runner-up to Marc Marquez in the overall standings in 2017, 2017 and 2019 - is currently in the midst of an enforced sabbatical brought about by his decision to quit Ducati amid lengthy and fraught contract negotiations.

Though considered an attractive target for any team, Dovizioso’s options are limited by the fact most teams already have riders mid-way through contracts that would take them to the conclusion of the 2022 season.

However, this doesn’t apply to Aprilia, whom Dovizioso has struck up a close relationship with in recent weeks after accepting the offer to test on the RS-GP. He has since gone on to test a second time in May and has a third outing planned at Misano this month too.

With all signs pointing towards Dovizioso joining the team full-time in 2022, it is known Aprilia have made a formal offer, a year after he turned down an initial approach to ride in 2021

However, the famously coy Italian hasn’t communicated a decision as yet, raising speculation he could be holding out on another offer with a more competitive team despite an evident step forward this year.

It’s a level of stalling that has drawn the ire of Espargaro - currently in his fifth season with Aprilia - who says he doesn’t understand why he is continuing to leave Aprilia in the dark despite its evident determination to accommodate him.

“I don’t understand why Andrea doesn’t want to race,” Espargaro said ahead of his home Catalunya MotoGP race. “It’s not decided yet. From what I have heard from Massimo Rivola (Aprilia MotoGP boss) no decision has been made. The door is still open for Andrea to be part of the team with me next year.

“He would be more than welcome. I’ve said it several times, it would be great to have him here.”

With no lap times communicated from the first test at Jerez, the second outing at Mugello was hampered by poor weather. His third outing will take place at Misano on 23-24 June, when a decision is most likely to come.

In the meantime one potential option for him at KTM has now gone after Remy Gardner was promoted into a Tech 3 seat, most likely at the expense of Iker Lecuona.