Aleix Espargaro on retirement talk: “The races will decide”

Aleix Espargaro says how competitive he is will depend on how long he remains in MotoGP.

Aleix Espargaro, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February
Aleix Espargaro, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February

Aleix Espargaro is the oldest rider in MotoGP, but that hasn’t stopped the Aprilia man from being the factory team’s best performer over the last few seasons.

Espargaro was the best non-Ducati rider at the Sepang MotoGP test as he finished fifth fastest.

The Spaniard, who is now going into his eighth season with Aprilia, says he’s ‘proud’ of the work done by the Noale-based manufacturer.

“It has been a long journey,” Espargaro told “I’m really proud to be here and to be in my eighth seasonwith Aprilia.

“Our journey has not been easy. We have come from very far away and it’s a privilege to be an Aprilia rider.”

In terms of his future beyond 2024, Espargaro is one of many factory riders set to be out of contract after this season.

But if he remains fast and competitive in 2024, Espargaro expects to continue with Aprilia.

“The plan is to go as fast as possible,” said the three-time MotoGP race winner. “The races will decide for me if I’m still fast, if I’m still number one rider in Aprilia as I have been in the previous seven seasons. It’s in my hands.

“It depends how fast I am. Hopefully we can start fast and fight for victories at the start of the season.”

While Espargaro was in the mix during the Sepang test, team-mate Maverick Vinales struggled to demonstrate the same pace.

Struggling with the new RS-GP24-spec bike, and in particular its new aero package, Vinales was unable to perform at the level expected.

Espargaro did not have those problems and was unable to explain why Vinales found the bike difficult to ride.

Espargaro added: “It’s a difficult question for me. I liked the bike from the first few laps of the test. 

“It’s true that it’s quite different aerodynamically and you have to ride the bike differently.

“The way you put the bike in the corners is different. But it goes towards my riding style. For me, it is fine.”

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