Aleix Espargaro backs Fabio Quartararo contract: “Not only for the money…”

Aleix Espargaro comments on "the money" and Fabio Quartararo's big decision

Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April

Fabio Quartararo did not re-sign with Yamaha solely for money, Aleix Espargaro insists.

Quartararo’s decision to stick with his underperforming team on a long-term new deal will reportedly make him the highest-paid rider in MotoGP.

It also solves a key part of the 2025 rider market, after he rejected an option to go to Aprilia.

Current Aprilia rider Espargaro, meanwhile, is deciding whether to carry on with his MotoGP career or to retire next year.

He compared his decision to Quartararo’s to AS: “For the market in general, it may change, but for me nothing changes because I am in a totally different position.”

Espargaro reacted to Quartararo’s new contract: “There are many people who criticise his renewal and I do not understand those criticisms.

“This is a poker game and everyone knows the cards they have.

“I think he has taken the best option he had, not only for the money.

“He is in a team that he knows, he has been world champion with Yamaha.

“They have made many changes that do not have to be noticeable from one day to the next, but in the medium term.

“And I think he has understood it.

“It was difficult for him to risk it now because he was not going to be able to go to an official Ducati, for example.

“I don't see it as so strange that he renewed.

“In his position I would have done the same.”

Quartararo’s new deal will bolster his bank balance significantly but does mean he faces an anxious wait to discover the fruits of Yamaha’s planned progress.

The Japanese manufacturer can take advantage of the new concessions rule this year to hasten their bike’s development.

Yamaha are also intent on adding a satellite team in 2025 to give them double the data and double the riders on grid.

But Quartararo will know that he will likely not be in a race-winning position this year, and even next year feels optimistic.

The good news for Yamaha is that they have a top rider, a significant budget and the concessions rules on their side to solve their ongoing problems.

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