UPDATE: Third place for Aleix Espargaro at Jerez means Aprilia has lost concessions.

The Noale factory is the last of the current manufacturers still eligible for the perks, with Suzuki and then KTM having previously graduated out of concessions to compete under the same rules as Yamaha, Ducati and Honda.

Concessions are lost once a manufacturer reaches a total of 6 ‘Concession Points’, allocated 3 points for 1st place, 2 points for 2nd and 1 point for third. Points expire 2 years from the date they were accrued.

Up until Silverstone last year, Aprilia hadn’t scored a single Concession Point, but Espargaro’s third place in the UK has since been followed by a breakthrough victory in Argentina and then the Portimao rostrum.

That puts Aprilia on 5 points heading into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

“Maybe some engineers at Noale are a little bit more worried [about losing concessions] than me, but I never liked it,” said Espargaro, who feels he and the RS-GP are ready to compete under the exact same rules as the others.

“I’m not stupid, I know that these concessions help us, but I don’t like it at all. I think that I proved that I’m riding in a very high level, but also the Aprilia GP is in a good level.

“It’s not impossible to achieve good results. From now on, I think we have a good base. I hope that already in Jerez we can lose the concessions.”

What happens when Aprilia reaches 6 Concession points?

If either Espargaro or team-mate Maverick Vinales stands on the podium this Sunday, thus breaching the 6-point threshold, Aprilia will instantly lose the chance to hold private testing with their MotoGP race riders.

In other words, only the factory’s test riders, led by Lorenzo Savadori, would be able to ride the RS-GP outside of either a Grand Prix weekend or Official test (as takes place on Monday after Jerez).

All of the other concessions - the right for test riders to test at any GP circuit (rather than nominating 3 testing tracks), the use of 9 engines per rider per season (instead of 7), exemption from the in-season engine development freeze and a maximum of 6 wild-card entries per season (instead of 3) - will then be lost from the start of next season.

If any MotoGP manufacturer completes a full season without a single podium, that factory will then benefit from full concessions from the following season.

Espargaro: ‘We are fighting for the top every weekend’

A best of eighth in the world championship during his previous five seasons with Aprilia, Espargaro heads to Jerez holding third in the standings, just three points behind joint leaders Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins.

“Not every weekend will be like Argentina [victory], but we knew that and America [11th] was a very tough weekend,” Espargaro said. “But when I arrived back home and analysed everything, my race was not that bad.

“I was not far from, for example, Fabio [+6 seconds] and 11 seconds from the winner. So it was not a good race, but not a disaster.. Last year I lost one and a half seconds per lap! I knew that when we arrived in other circuits I would be fast enough.

“I’m not saying we can fight for victory every weekend. Fabio was extremely fast [at Portimao], especially in the first part of the race. But we are solid. We are fighting for the top every weekend and this makes me very happy.

“I’m very happy. I’m enjoying a lot with the bike."

‘It took all my career to reach this level’

“I expected to have a high level this year, but maybe not that much,” Espargaro added. “We are in the fight for the championship after round five, just three points from last year’s champion, Fabio.

“I think I’m riding in a good level, but I also think I rode at a good level last year. But you need to have a competitive bike. This year Aprilia brought a very competitive bike and it suits really my riding style. I proved that I’m strong with this bike this year.

“Sincerely, no pressure. I’m not thinking with the championship. I’m super relaxed, enjoying a lot this moment. It took all my career to reach this level, so now I just want to enjoy.

“I hope we can race every weekend to have fun because it’s fantastic to feel that you are that fast on track. It’s amazing to catch the guys in front of you every race. I’m just trying to enjoy it and keep the momentum.”

Alex Rins: Aprilia has championship chance

In a season that has already seen ten different riders on the podium and four different winners, Rins feels Espargaro and Aprilia definitely shouldn’t be discounted in terms of the title

“It’s difficult to put your finger on one rider now because everybody is super fast and all the bikes are quite fast. But for sure Aprilia is one of the constructors that have chances to take the championship,” Rins said.

Espargaro's team-mate Vinales is only 14th in the world championship but remains confident he is close to a breakthrough result on the RS-GP and has been paying the price for poor qualifying.

Aprilia finished sixth at Jerez last season, with Espargaro 5.2s from race winner Jack Miller (Ducati).