‘I will not wait forever’; Aleix Espargaro hurt by lack of Aprilia contract

In the midst of a career-year in MotoGP, Aleix Espargaro says he’s saddened by the lack of a contract renewal from Aprilia thus far.
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP Le Mans
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP Le Mans

The Noale-based manufacturer has a rider in Espargaro that has not only taken their first victory in the MotoGP era [Argentina], but someone who’s turned into a serious title contender in 2022. 

Yet, Espargaro remains without a contract while recent speculation has indicated Aprilia have lowballed the Spaniard.

Clearly not impressed, Espargaro stated his preference is to stay at Aprilia, but that ‘I will not wait forever’.

Speaking after his third place in qualifying, Espargaro said: "I don’t really know what to say. It doesn’t depend on me. I’ve said many times that I want to stay with Aprilia, but I don’t really understand what’s going on. 

"It makes me a bit sad, sincerely. Every race is a little bit more but I cannot control this. It is what it is, but for sure, I will not wait forever."

Overtaking ‘very difficult’ - Espargaro. Has MotoGP lost its ‘show’ factor? 

Following the recent aerodynamic advances made relating to downforce that’s provided by winglets and holeshot devices, has MotoGP become less entertaining? 

While the premier class is as competitive as it's ever been in terms of lap times and manufacturers that can win, overtaking has become more and more difficult in 2022 due to tyre pressures going through the roof when following another rider. 

Espargaro believes a lot of crashes are happening based on riders being unable to overtake despite having a clear pace advantage, even if Le Mans presents opportunities to do so. 

Aleix Espargaro, French MotoGP, 13 May
Aleix Espargaro, French MotoGP, 13 May

Espargaro added: "The track has some overtaking points, quite a lot, but the track is not the problem. It’s how the championship is and how these bikes react.

"Overtaking [here] is okay, I think you can overtake in this circuit, but the problem is when you get close to the bikes in front of you. It increases the tyre pressure and you have to brake earlier, if not you crash. 

"It’s very easy at this moment; as you saw in Portimao with Jack [Miller] and Joan [Mir], it’s very easy that this happens. 

"By braking two meters later to overtake the guy in front of you, you just lose the front. It’s very difficult to overtake now." 

While Le Mans may be a circuit that provides opportunities to pass, turn one has been a problem for many riders as we saw with Johann Zarco and Marco Bezzecchi, who ran through the gravel at incredibly high speeds and could have suffered awful crashes. 

The gravel in Le Mans is relatively small compared to some circuits which helped both riders, but for Jack Miller who has crashed twice this weekend, the Ducati rider is unsure if changes to that section can be made based on the layout. 

Miller said: "For sure, the cuts at turn one, I’ve been there twice this weekend; I didn’t go as fast as Zarco and was able to brake the bike a little more early. But for sure it’s not easy. You’re trying to take as much of the track as possible and get the line right, but for example today, I hit the brakes on the white line and lost the front. 


"If you have asphalt there then you will need the wall to be another 200 metres away because you’re not stopping. 

"I have to say, the Le Mans circuit itself after testing the gravel twice this weekend already, it has fantastic gravel. It’s fantastic compared to other circuits. I mean that in a serious way because again today my boys worked a miracle to get the bike I crashed at turn seven; was not one of the best points to crash, but they had the bike ready to go in Q1 and I used the bike in Q2. 

"If that had happened in a place like Jerez or Portimao where the gravel is like boulders, then it’s a different story for both myself and the bike."

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