Aleix Espargaro sets himself deadline to decide as he ponders retiring

Aleix Espargaro discusses the big decision that looms over his future

Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 22 March
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 22 March

Aleix Espargaro knows he must decide whether to retire soon.

The Aprilia rider is 34 years old, the oldest rider on the MotoGP grid.

He has pondered retirement before but is now into the final year of his contract.

“I don't know,” he told AS about his future.

Does he want to ride on into 2025?

“I don't know. I have to value it,” he said.

“I think about it a lot, I talk about it a lot with Laura [his wife].

“But I want to give myself more time. I still haven't decided in my head.

“Then you have to be honest and humble, because it will depend on whether Aprilia wants me to continue and offer me a new contract. But I'm not into that now.

“I don't know whether to stop now and become a test rider or to race one or two more seasons.

“But I have to decide between now and Mugello.

“When we do a couple of European races, I will decide my future.”

The Mugello MotoGP round begins on May 31. Between this weekend's MotoGP of the Americas and Mugello, there are rounds at Jerez, Le Mans and Catalunya.

Aprilia are seemingly active in the rider market after trying, and failing, to lure Fabio Quartararo.

For Espargaro, other factors must be considered.

“There are times when it is difficult for me to travel,” he admitted.

“But then when I am here I have a great time.

“I'm being very competitive. And I put it on a scale and it is very even.”

His final decision will come down to on-track results.

“I am still at a very high level. In Qatar I was one of the fastest, in Portimao too.

“If when we get to Mugello I continue fighting for podiums or win a race, my idea will be to continue.

“The results will decide.”

Espargaro was sixth-fastest in Friday practice at the Americas MotoGP. Aprilia teammate Maverick Vinales was second.

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