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Aleix Espargaró Signs Two-Year Deal With Aprilia MotoGP


Aleix Espargaró will leave Suzuki to join the Aprilia MotoGP team beginning next year. Signing a two-year deal, Expargaró undoubtedly hopes Aprilia can rise to the same competitive status as Suzuki. Aprilia introduced an all-new prototype machine earlier this year, but has had to be content with circulating the track far behind the leaders. Espargaró’s teammate next year will be Sam Lowes, currently in third place in the Moto2 championship.

Here is the press release from Aprilia:

Aleix Espargaró, Spanish rider born in Granollers on 30 July 1989, will ride an Aprilia RS-GP in the MotoGP World Championship. The agreement signed with Aprilia Racing is for two years, covering the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Bringing Espargaró on board is part of Aprilia’s development plan – which aims for an increase in competitiveness, in line with the progress already demonstrated this year – and it reaffirms the Piaggio Group’s commitment to an excellent technological and sport project aimed at making the Aprilia brand a protagonist on the track and on the road.

Aleix Espargaró was the Spanish champion in the 125 category in 2004. After a series of placements in the 125 and 250 categories, in 2009 he made his début in the top class where he drew attention during the 2012 season astride the ART (the CRT bike developed by Aprilia Racing), finishing the season as the best rider in the category. This excellent result was repeated the next season as well, again on the ART – Aprilia Racing bike. Overall, in MotoGP, he has taken two pole positions and a podium finish, as well as seventh place in the rider standings (his personal best) for the 2014 championship season.

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  1. Vrooom says:

    While Espargo and Lowes isn’t an awful team, don’t think Aprilia will rise to ride with the aliens any time soon. Both are reasonably talented and Lowes may still shock me, but without a Maverick Vinales type performance Suzuki wouldn’t be where it is.

  2. PatrickD says:

    If Alex islucky, then how would Cal Crutchlow best be described? He has a decent seat (on an admittedly mediocre year for Honda) and has a grand total of 20 points from 8 rounds! Quite why LCR have kept him defies belief. There are so many riders who have performed better and yet have lost their seats. The tech3 guys for a start.
    With regards Aleix, the Aprilia has had a pretty good start this year. They’re in the mix with the second string Yamahas and Ducatis, and ahead or the Hondas of Tito and (until this weekend!) Miller. A very respectable effort, and Aprillia have a knack of getting things right more often than wrong when it comes to racing. This year’s riders might feel themselves hard done by.

    • mickey says:

      Crutchlow was showing some real talent a few years ago, since then he has had nothing but bad luck. When he went to Ducati to be a ” factory ” rider things started to slide sideways, and he hasn’t gotten back on track since. This year he has barely spent any time ON the track, he’s always plowing fields. Don’t know what it is going to take for him to get back on track and riding to the potential he once showed.

  3. mickey says:

    He has to be saying to himself ” what the heck happened?” I was the new Golden boy, then that Maverick kid caught fire, and now I’m relegated to riding a what?????

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Lol. Actually, he is probably thanking his lucky stars he didn’t get demoted to WSB.

      • Fred says:

        WSB could be better moneywise, as he must be paying $$$ for that ride in the vain hope that a paying team will pick him up soon.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I’m sure you are correct as some of the WSB riders definitely make more money. But professionally, there is still the stigma of having to move “backwards” to a different series. That is probably hard for any of these guys to swallow.

          • Stuki Moi says:

            I wonder to what extent talent/skills carry over from one to the other. IOW. MGP prototypes are pretty specialized machines which can be highly customized for it’s rider. While I have no doubt the aliens would be plenty fast on any two wheeled conveyance, they may not be quite so superhuman on a bike that has to conform much closer to bikes designed to work well for normal people.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            If you’ve ridden or even sat on any of the modern liter bikes, I think you’d agree they aren’t really designed for normal people even in stock form. That said, quite a bit of modification is allowed in WSB including the suspension and brakes (and I think maybe even the swingarm.) Each bike can be tailored pretty well to the rider. I believe an alien in MotoGP would be an alien in WSB, though not necessarily the other way around.

            I still think the most important factor is the bike though. Any of the MotoGP aliens would have to find themselves in the saddle of a Kawasaki or Ducati I think to spend much time on the WSB podium.

        • Dave says:

          Why do you believe Piaggio group can’t pay their riders well? This is just as likely to be a pay raise for him.

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