Aprilia’s breakthrough in performance during the 2021 season was best highlighted by Aleix Espargaro claiming the team’s first podium of the MotoGP era, and first premier class podium since 2000 for the Italian manufacturer.

Espargaro, who started his fifth season for Aprilia in 2021, also secured his first top ten championship finish 2014, which is his one and only for Aprilia thus far. 

Aside from five non-finishes over the course of the year, Espargaro completed every race inside the top ten, which highlighted his current form which is arguably the best of his career, while also showing the improved performance from Aprilia. 

Following a first front row start since 2000 for the team in Sachsenring, a race he went on to finish in seventh, Espargaro took the team’s long-awaited first podium in Silverstone after getting the better of Jack Miller and brother Pol Espargaro late on. 

Espargaro will once again return to the team in 2022, alongside the team’s late-season addition of Maverick Vinales

After the Spaniard’s controversial departure from Yamaha following the second Austrian round, Aprilia decided to put Vinales on their RS-GP 21 bike for a Misano test, before signing him through to the end of 2022. 

Although Vinales only secured one top ten result in his five races, the 26 year-old flashed potential ahead of what will be a crucial 2022 season in his career. 

Speaking after the season, Race Manager for Team Aprilia Gresini Racing, Paolo Bonora, called it a ‘wonderful season’ despite needing further improvements to challenge the likes of Ducati and Yamaha on a consistent basis. 

"This season was a wonderful season for us. We achieved some very good results," Bonora told motogp.com. "We followed the podium for many years and this year we achieved this great result in Silverstone. 

"We are very happy as a team. We thank so much Espargaro, but also [Lorenzo] Savadori and now Vinales for the development that we have done and that we will do for next season. 

"For sure we must improve. We have positive things in our bike but we are still improving and need to improve because we need to fight with the other competitors. 

"It’s very difficult to do in such a competitive championship like the MotoGP one. 

"For sure, during the first part of the season we raised up the performance and the confidence of the riders improved step-by-step and the result of Silverstone was unbelievable."