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Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales Confirmed at Aprilia MotoGP With New Two-Year Contracts

With so many riders unsigned for next year, and Suzuki disbanding their team, there is great interest in following the news and rumors concerning the signing of MotoGP riders for 2023. Aprilia has just reduced the mystery slightly by announcing it will retain its two MotoGP riders for an additional two years.

Aleix Espargaro is just a few points off the championship lead as the series heads to Mugello this weekend. He and teammate Maverick Vinales can turn their focus to riding, and away from contract negotiations, as the duo have been confirmed by Aprilia to have received new, two-year contracts with the Italian factory to remain with their team through the 2024 season.

While retaining Espargaro is no surprise, Aprilia’s decision to give the struggling Vinales a two-year deal seems, on the face of it, unexpected. Vinales has now been on the Aprilia for nearly a year, yet he is consistently much slower than his teammate each weekend, both in qualifying and in the race.

Here is the announcement from Aprilia:

APRILIA RACING CONFIRMS THEIR FACTORY RIDERS FOR THE 2023/2024 TWO-YEAR PERIOD

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ AND MAVERICK VIÑALES WILL BE ON THE FACTORY RS-GP MACHINES FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD

ALEIX: “WE ARE GOING THROUGH A GREAT TIME, WE ARE A CONCRETE REALITY AND NOW I WANT TO KEEP GROWING WITH APRILIA”

MAVERICK: “CONFIRMATION FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD, BEING PART OF THE PROJECT, GIVES ME THE PEACE OF MIND TO SET GREAT GOALS FOR MYSELF”

MASSIMO RIVOLA: “WE ARE PROVIDING CONTINUITY TO A PROJECT THAT HAS JUST BEGUN TO REVEAL ITS POTENTIAL”

Under the sign of continuity, Aprilia Racing confirms their riders. Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales will be astride the factory RS-GP machines in the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

With more than one-third of the races in the current season already done and dusted, Aleix Espargaró and his Aprilia are two top protagonists in the championship. With one win and three consecutive podiums, Aleix is reaping the fruits of a combination which is also based on the reciprocal and profound harmony with his team. In this situation, the synergy between bike and rider is one of the key factors for success.

Confirmation is based on this line of thinking for both the winner of the Argentinian GP and Maverick, who now has the same goals of increasingly closer integration with the Factory bike from Veneto.

Aleix Espargaró

“This confirmation was just what the doctor ordered. We’ve worked hard together and grown together. We were a hope, now we are reality. In 2021 we had already seen clear signs of our steps forward and now we are able to battle consistently with the best in the world. Continuing to do so with Aprilia is a source of pride for me. We can grow even more and we want to demonstrate that on the track.”

Maverick Viñales

“I’m extremely happy to continue my work with Aprilia Racing. Now our horizons are expanding and we’ll be able to work with continuity to achieve ambitious goals. I believe in this project and I’m happy to be part of it. I’ve found a fantastic environment in Aprilia and this confirmation gives me the peace of mind to grow the way this team and I deserve to.”

Massimo Rivola

“All the good we are doing this season is the fruit of many components, certainly the value of our designers and our technicians led by Romano Albesiano, the overall growth of our racing department and, in large part, the synergy that our Captain Aleix has skilfully built with the bike and with the team. So, we set the goal of continuing along these lines, both with Aleix and with Maverick, and I am pleased with these confirmations today. We still need to grow a lot and now we have the peace of mind to do so.”

20 Comments

  1. J Wilson says:

    I’m dumbstruck: MV complained more than a 12-year old girl everywhere he’s been, worked that ‘if I just had the right bike and a good team’ line to death, and he gets to on the way up fast Aprilia, and has been a back-marker ever since.

    He’s always been quick to point out how he used to regularly beat Marquez in their junior days, and now he can’t even catch sight of him, even with Marquez’s injuries.

    He must be bringing Aprilia a lot of money. Put Up or Shut Up.

  2. motomike says:

    Off subject but am I crazy or does that Geico commercial make us seem like dishonest cheaters? The girl cheating at trivia and buying a prize instead of winning it? WTF Geico!

  3. Gene says:

    Vinales’ problem is qualifying and the first few laps on a full tank. After that he generally runs at a pace equal to the front of the pack. It’s just he’s so far back at the point he has no chance. Once he fixes his starts he should be able to consistently be in the top 10 and maybe even on the podium.

  4. Mick says:

    I wonder if Vinales is a good development rider. He hasn’t had good results. But the bike has come a long way since he entered the team. There have been a number of racers like that in the past.

    • Dave says:

      I don’t know if Vinales is any good at development but the bike was getting very good before he arrived. Seems like it/they were on the trajectory with or without him. He has been improving and I could see him reaching the front again before too much longer. Having another Ape up near the front would be a luxury for Aleix’s championship.

  5. motomike says:

    Been watching the MGP thingy on Amazon and I am impressed with Aleix. What an upbeat guy that seems to really be enjoying himself. No primadonna there!

  6. mickey says:

    Mir or Vinales and they choose Vinales? Really?

    • Jeremy says:

      Could be that Mir isn’t actually available anymore?

      • Dave says:

        ..and while he hasn’t shown it lately, Vinales is a proven winner, who has at times been dominantly fast. Maybe they believe he’ll get back to that.

  7. endoman38 says:

    Espargaro I can see, but Vinales, don’t know about that, especially with Rins and Mir seemingly becoming available. Maybe Vinales is a good test rider.

  8. Jeremy says:

    I’m a little surprised that they re-signed Mav this early. There are some fast, mentally stable riders feeling out their futures right now, and Aleix has proven that the bike has potential which you’d think would pique some interest.

  9. Dave says:

    Phew.. When I read that Aleix was still unsigned at this point in the season and it was possible that he’d leave, I thought Aprilia had lost their damn minds.

    Side note, when you view a GP bike from the side, it’s apparent that they’re REALLY weirdly proportioned. Really long, like drag bikes that can be made to turn.

    • Jerry says:

      Yes, and now they have Savadori trying a goofy REAR wing… Enough with the wings! They have no use on street bikes, so there’s no benefit there, and if nobody has wings, they’ll all be back on the same level, so there’s nothing lost. As it is, the wings are getting out of control, and if they let them keep it up, eventually someone is going to be sliced up during a crash.

    • TimC says:

      You aren’t whistling Dixie – the article image here really drives this home. Suddenly the Diavel makes more sense….