Aleix Espargaro: ‘Last year was the best weekend of my life’

Aleix Espargaro: “Last year was the best weekend of my life and it won’t be easy to repeat...”

Espargaro, Vinales Catalunya 2023
Espargaro, Vinales Catalunya 2023

Aleix Espargaro returns to the scene of the ‘best weekend of his life’, as the local star seeks a repeat of last year’s dream MotoGP double in Catalunya.

Born in Granollers, within sight of the Barcelona track, Espargaro suffered the misery of a last-lap mix-up that cost him a podium in 2022.

But he rebounded in style last season, beating world champion Francesco Bagnaia for victory in the Sprint before leading a historic Aprilia 1-2 with team-mate Maverick Vinales in the grand prix.

Espargaro returns with only one Sprint rostrum appearance so far this season, and yet to announce if he will race on in 2025.

“Barcelona is a track that I really like a lot - it’s my home race,” Espargaro said.

“The track suits my style well because there are fast turns and not many slow hairpins. It’s a track where the bike works well.

“Last year was the best weekend of my life and it won’t be easy to repeat that, but we’ll try to give it our all and get back out front.”

Countryman Vinales is the top non-Ducati rider in the world championship in fifth place, but absent from the Sunday podium since his brilliant COTA double.

“Montmeló is a track that I like. I have a lot of good memories. When I’m here, I think of Luis Salom and that is great motivation for me,” Vinales said of his friend Salom, who lost his life at the circuit in 2016.

“It’s my home race and my whole fan club is there, so it’s a track where I really want to do well. We are ready to have a good weekend. Our mentality is to stay focused so we’ll do well and to give it one hundred percent.”

The big question will now be if the low grip character of the Barcelona track once again plays spectacularly into the RS-GP’s hands this weekend.

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