Aleix Espargaro has called his mechanical retirement from the Thailand MotoGP a “shame” for Aprilia as he cut a frustrated figure having seen a top 10 result slip away.

After qualifying straight into Q2, Espargaro made the most of his opportunity battling inside the top 10 against Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci before a cruel electrical fault with his RS-GP forced him to retire from the race with nine laps to go.

Having been visibly agitated pulling into his Aprilia garage during the Thailand race, Espargaro has explained he’s riding at the highest level of his career but has not been able to demonstrate it with his fifth retirement of the season.

“I know it sounds not very nice to say from my side, but I feel that I’m riding better than ever in my career, sincerely,” Espargaro said. “I’m stressing the bike at the limit.

“I think that level I’m putting the RS-GP is really, really good except two or three tracks, I feel that on the brakes, in the acceleration, in the pick up phase, working with my electronics guys for the management of the race.

“I think that I’m doing the things in the best way of my career, and it’s a shame that I cannot finish in the top to prove that. But this is racing, and it’s not always depending on the rider skills.

“My team-mate [Andrea Iannone] is a very fast guy, and you can see the difference between me and him in just eighteen laps.

“I’m very proud how I’m riding, how I’m managing the race, but it’s not depending on me. If the bike stops, there’s nothing I can do, and I was very, very frustrated.”

Espargaro says the electrical issue effectively put his Aprilia into a complete shut down.

“They know what happened, it was an electronic failure, and the bike was not working, the gearbox was not working, the engine brake was completely locked, and I had no control of the throttle. It was almost impossible to arrive to the pit box,” he said.

Espargaro remains 14th in the MotoGP riders’ standings but lost vital ground to Suzuki’s Joan Mir who now holds a 12-point advantage in 13th place with four rounds to go.

 

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