Aprilia have a three-man shortlist to replace Aleix Espargaro if he retires

Aprilia studying the availability of three MotoGP riders for 2025

Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP race, Spanish MotoGP, 28 April
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP race, Spanish MotoGP, 28 April

There are three names in the hat for Aprilia, if they need to replace Aleix Espargaro next season.

The Italian manufacturer’s ‘captain’ has flirted with the idea of retirement, not for the first time, and will make his final decision soon.

Aprilia are busy in the background knowing that they might have a vacancy on a very coveted bike, which has become a major threat to Ducati this year.

Aprilia’s three-man shortlist, according to Sky, is:

  • Enea Bastianini

  • Jorge Martin

  • Marco Bezzecchi

The trio of Ducati riders have come under the microscope for Aprilia.

The manufacturer failed with a contract offer to lure Fabio Quartararo, who instead signed a new deal to become MotoGP’s highest-paid rider with Yamaha.

But Aprilia will likely have the funds to recruit Bastianini, Martin or Bezzecchi.

They will have no choice but to wait for the factory Ducati team to first make their decision for the 2025 MotoGP rider line-up.

Bastianini is in possession of the red bike that everybody wants, but Pramac’s Martin and Gresini’s Marc Marquez are in contention.

Aprilia have publicly admitted that they would like an Italian rider in the past, so Bastianini fits the bill if he is dropped by Ducati’s official team.

Alternatively, Martin might fancy remaining on factory machinery if he is again overlooked for the ‘25 Ducati seat.

VR46’s Bezzecchi is an intriguing option. He hasn’t set MotoGP alight this season in the same way that he did last year, his breakthrough campaign.

But after previous teammate Luca Marini left VR46 for a factory role with Honda, Bezzecchi could follow suit if he is offered the Aprilia seat. Particularly if Bezzecchi will be forced to stick with a year-old Desmosedici in 2025 at VR46.

But everything rests on Espargaro’s decision.

Last year he mentioned retirement but decided to battle on. Now 34, he is the oldest rider on the grid.

Espargaro has vowed to finalise his decision by Mugello, which begins on May 31.

He finished fifth last weekend in Le Mans, a reminder of the ability that he still possesses.

Read More