A title contender for much of 2022, Espargaro is hoping to at least match the type of results he achieved, if not better during the 2023 MotoGP season. 

A race winner on one occasion (Argentina) while also claiming another five podiums, Espargaro was a model for consistency until the final few races.

But with a new RS-GP23 machine that has seemingly taken yet more steps forward compared to last year’s already impressive bike, Espargaro is ready to challenge at the front of MotoGP once again.

"I will have more pressure this season due to the performance last year," Espargaro told MotoGP.com. "But at the same time, I feel more confident than ever.

"I am hungry for results. I can’t wait to try to repeat what we achieved last year, or to try and improve. The atmosphere in the team is better than ever. This motivates me."

Speaking of the bike Espargaro has at his disposal, the Spaniard said improving the RS-GP was a clear aim as they look to challenge Ducati, although doing so was not easy given the performance of last year’s machine.

"Our goal for the ‘23 season was to improve the bike, which wasn’t an easy one," added Espargaro. "But we have to because we know our rivals are working hard. We weren’t able to match them in the last part of last season.

"The ‘23 bike is promising, you have to wait and see how it delivers in the races. The improvements are better than the ‘22 bike."

‘I don’t have the energy of young MotoGP riders’ - Espargaro

Espargaro, who is 33 years of age, is currently the oldest rider on the grid. However, the long-time Aprilia rider has never lacked the work ethic of desire to perform at his very best.

Despite stating he is ‘disadvantaged’ in some ways, experience can count for a lot in motorcycle racing, which Espargaro knows could be a key role in 2023.

Espargaro said: "There are always pros and cons. I don’t have the energy of the young riders - it’s not just riding for 45 minutes at a high level, it is also the travel, the meetings, the pressure, many hours away from your family. 

"In this way, I am disadvantaged. But I have more input than them, I have more experiences, I have worked with Aprilia for many years, and after the 2022 season I proved that I am still fast."