Aleix Espargaró, who has been racing in MotoGP on the Aprilia RS-GP since 2017, has signed a two-year extension to his contract with the Italian factory. The new contract means Espargaró will be riding for Aprilia through 2022.Espargaró’s time with Aprilia in MotoGP has been dominated by development rather than results. In 17 starts in 2017, Espargaró failed to finish eight times, on his way to a P15 result in the championship standings. 2018 was a step backward, as Espargaró had fewer top 10 finishes and end the year in P17 in the standings. However, Espargaró’s results on the Aprilia RS-GP improved last year, with fewer DNFs and five top-10s. The result was Espargaró finishing 2019 in P14, his highest overall finish in the MotoGP Championship Series Standings for Aprilia.
“I am happy about this confirmation,” Espargaró said. “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 center 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.”Espargaró’s enthusiasm for the signing was shared by Aprilia. “We wanted Aleix’s confirmation by all means and we are very happy that it arrived,” acknowledged Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo RIvola. “At a rather tumultuous time for the rider market, providing continuity for our project with a rider the caliber 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.”
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!