Aleix Espargaro “will put money” on Jorge Martin winning MotoGP title with Aprilia

Aleix Espargaro believes Jorge Martin is the missing piece Aprilia needs to win the MotoGP title.

Aleix Espargaro, Jorge Martin, Qatar MotoGP 09 March
Aleix Espargaro, Jorge Martin, Qatar MotoGP 09 March

Aprilia’s stunning deal to sign MotoGP series leader Jorge Martin came as a huge surprise after it appeared he was positioned to win the battle to become Francesco Bagnaia’s team-mate at Ducati.

That privilege instead went the way of Marc Marquez, who will join the Lenovo Ducati team in 2025, while Martin will replace Aleix Espargaro who is set to retire after this season.

Playing a pivotal role in Martin joining Aprilia was Espargaro, who admits he did his best to convince Martin on the Sunday night following the Italian MotoGP at Mugello.

Espargaro said: “It was quite a unique situation really. After the race Jorge and his manager realised that his option to go to Ducati was not as clear as they thought.

“So he started to talk with different brands, different manufacturers and he came to my motorhome; we talked until midnight and I just tried to convince him that Aprilia was the best option for him because I know how high the potential of Aprilia is, how good the team is and I know his talent.

“So I knew that the perfect place for him was Aprilia. I convinced him and Massimo was really clever to prepare everything very quickly.

“It was a really nice opportunity for Aprilia and one we didn’t think would happen. For me it is a dream to have Jorge on my bike next year.”

Asked if he expected Martin to make Aprilia title contenders, Espargaro has no doubts that will be the case.

Espargaro added: “I will put my money on it that he does it. It seems that since I joined Aprilia eight years ago we haven’t stopped growing. 

“I have won a few races in recent years and he has a lot of talent, a lot of hunger and is young.

“Everyone in Noale is super excited to have one of the strongest riders in the field.”

While Aprilia has Martin locked in for the next two seasons, securing Maverick Vinales has proven difficult so far.

Vinales is still contemplating his future, but admits the addition of Martin has made him happy for the Italian manufacturer.

“I’m happy for Martin, I’m happy for Aprilia,” said Vinales. “He is a great rider and he is showing a lot of potential on the Ducati.

“I’m happy for the team and they deserve another top rider. I’m happy Aprilia was able to take Martin in a late moment. We will see the level next year.”

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