Upset Aleix Espargaro hits out at Aprilia for stalling on 2023 MotoGP deal

Aleix Espargaro gives Aprilia a public hurry up, revealing he is unhappy at not yet reachin a deal for the 2023 MotoGP season despite breakthrough campaign

Aleix Espargaro - Aprilia Racing

Aleix Espargaro has warned Aprilia he ‘will not wait forever’ after revealing he is yet to be offered an acceptable deal beyond the 2022 MotoGP season despite a breakthrough campaign that has seen him emerge as a surprise title contender.

A long-serving member of the Italian outfit, Espargaro is now in his sixth season with Aprilia, during which time he remained loyal despite wavering competitiveness through what has been a prolonged period of difficult development work on the RS-GP.

However, the hard work is now being rewarded, with Espargaro emerging as an unexpected contender for the title this season on the back of his and Aprilia’s first MotoGP win in Argentina, plus two podiums.

Even so, while Espargaro’s extended stay at Aprilia had been considered a foregone conclusion - despite suggestions back in 2020 that he’d make the 2022 MotoGP season his last - he says no deal has been reached, with rumours suggesting it hasn’t met his demands.

Speaking after qualifying on the front row for this weekend’s French MotoGP at Le Mans, an unimpressed Espargaro admits he is upset at the situation.

“I will not wait forever,” he said. "I don’t really know what to say. It doesn’t depend on me. I’ve said many times that I want to stay with Aprilia, but I don’t really understand what’s going on. 

"It makes me a bit sad, sincerely. Every race is a little bit more but I cannot control this. It is what it is, but for sure, I will not wait forever."

Why is Aprilia stalling on Espargaro 2023 MotoGP deal?

Having persevered for six arduous and largely fruitless seasons together, one would have expected Aprilia and Espargaro to be keen on an extended relationship now the rewards are coming.

Perhaps Espargaro is demanding greater royalties as a prize for turning loyalty into success… or his very pointed words from a question he himself may have planted with a journalist beforehand could be seen as him giving Aprilia the hurry up - not to mention declare his potential availability to rivals.

Either way, there is no denying the Spaniard’s potential contractual demands come at an awkward time.

Indeed, while the 2023 MotoGP rider market appeared fairly stagnant two weeks ago, Suzuki’s withdrawal bombshell means the surprise availability of Joan Mir and Alex Rins has shaken things up significantly.

While Mir looks destined for a move to Repsol Honda, that has the knock-on effect of releasing Pol Espargaro, while Rins isn’t attached to any team as yet.

As such, Aprilia might be taking time to see how the market settles before making commitments to either Espargaro or Maverick Vinales, the latter of which might see his seat go from safe to threatened in the wake of recent developments coupled to his modest results.

Moreover, Aprilia - so often shunned by leading riders who didn’t consider it competitive enough - finds itself as a team in demand thanks to Espargaro’s efforts, a level of interest it will feel compelled to pore over before pushing any new contracts over the desk.