Espargaro secured a sensational first MotoGP win of his career after getting the better of Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin

Somewhat unexpectedly, Espargaro had to bide his time behind the former Moto3 world champion, as Martin was proving very difficult to overtake. 

But after two failed attempts at turn five, Espargaro eventually delivered on the promise that was shown all weekend at the third time of asking. 

His victory also helped clinch Aprilia’s first-ever premier class win in the MotoGP era.  

So what next for Espargaro and Aprilia…

Well, Espargaro now leads the MotoGP world championship for the first time in his career, and although the Spanish veteran will be the first to say ‘feet on the ground’, many can’t help but think a potential title challenge is forthcoming. 

Can he keep this momentum going? Espargaro certainly believes he can: “It’s going to be very difficult but we are in the mix and the fight for the victories. That’s for sure! 

“As I said before, I think we really deserved this. Feet on the ground for sure, the championship is extremely long this year, but yes, if we don’t make any mistakes then we will be in the mix for the victories and podiums every weekend. I will try my best! 

“I’m more focused than ever; very happy for this race, but I’m already thinking about America, Portimao, Jerez, because I would really like to keep the momentum. 

“I’m in the last part of my career, I’m 32 years old and I want to finish in the best way possible.”

Following several years of struggling to contend with the likes of perennial race winners Honda, Yamaha and Ducati, Aprilia have finally arrived as all six manufacturers have won races since 2020. 

The level of progress shown by the Noale-based brand is quite stunning given their performance levels just a few seasons ago, while Espargaro is now convinced that Aprilia is becoming an attractive option for young riders. 

Although convincing some riders has still been tough according to the 32 year-old, Espargaro believes his result at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit will make those who ‘say no to Aprilia’ regret their decision. 

“I would try to convince some young riders to come who are now in Moto2, but they would say ‘I prefer to wait for another bike’. So this makes me more hungry and gives me extra motivation,” added the first-time winner.

“I say ‘okay, you will remember this day in your life when you say no to Aprilia’. Now I’m happy and yesterday (Saturday) I was very happy because Sam Lowes, Scott Redding, Iannone, all the riders I raced with text me and were very, very happy for me and for Aprilia because they know how hard it’s been, how hard the bike was in the past. 

“The level we are showing now I think is really good. Still a lot of work to do, but I think the young riders in Moto2, Moto3 are starting to see the project from Aprilia as a little bit more serious, like an option for the future. 

“This is also great for the sport, for the championship. Now there are a lot of strong manufacturers that you can win with any bike. 

“This year KTM wins, Ducati wins and Aprilia wins. Also Honda is very strong, Suzuki is strong and Yamaha won last year. It’s unbelievable the level of the category.”

Next up for the championship leader is the Grand Prix of America, a race neither he or Aprilia have ever stood on the podium at. However, look for the former Suzuki rider to be very competitive once again.