Espargaro, who could have won the Dutch Grand Prix had he not been crashed into by Fabio Quartararo, chose not to blame the Yamaha rider and instead came to his defence when the reigning world champion was awarded a Long Lap penalty for the most recent British MotoGP at Silverstone. 

Although the pair are separated by less than a win in the standings, which has been the case for most of the season, Espargaro and Quartararo have remained fair and respectful in their racing against one-another.

That hasn’t always been the case during championship fights, however, Espargaro and Quartararo are adamant that whatever happens on-track won’t boil over and affect their off-track relationship.   

“I think there is no way to change this part - [the way] we are outside of racing. Maybe we want to organise a fight or something,” said a sarcastic Quartararo. 

“I think when we are racing there is a lot of respect. But I want to win, he wants to win, everybody here wants to win. 

“I don’t think it’s changing anything but we all have a clear goal which is to win. At the end, I think that thing - the victory is the most important. But how we are outside of racing will not change.”

‘I’m sure we will clash again’, says MotoGP title contender Espargaro

While Quartararo has experience of fighting for a world title, the current MotoGP campaign marks the first time that Espargaro has been in this position. 

The Aprilia rider has arguably been the most consistent and impressive rider of the year thus far, and although a huge opportunity lies ahead of him, the Spaniard won’t let that impact how he races.

Espargaro stated: "I agree with him. He’s still the idol of my kids [laughs]. I said many times that Fabio [Quartararo] is a nice guy. I also said many times that it looks like you guys don’t like that we are fighting for the world championship and have a good relationship. 

"I don’t really understand this. We clashed once in Assen and I’m sure we will clash again in the next races. Racing is racing and we know how far we can go to respect each other. 

"This is racing and we both want to win. Fabio is a very nice guy. Fabio, whenever he passed my house would stop and I hope he will continue to stop in the next few years to say hello. But what happens stays on track."