MotoGP

Aprilia “closer than ever” to “very difficult” first MotoGP win

The 2021 MotoGP season proved to be a breakout campaign for Aprilia, as Espargaro guided it to its first podium in the modern premier class era seven years into its comeback.  

Aprilia – entering its first campaign since its comeback as an outright manufacturer team having previously run its operation in conjunction with Gresini Racing – made major changes to its RS-GP last year having been the only marque able to freely develop its bike coming into and throughout 2021 owing to concession regulations. 

The marque has seemingly made further gains with its bike in 2022, ending the Malaysia test second overall and the Indonesia test fourth overall.  

Asked whether he felt Aprilia had to win a race this year to truly show its progress, Espargaro replied: “Yes, for sure. Last year we achieved the first podium, so obviously we are going to try to win.  

“But it’s very difficult. I think this year the championship is going to be the most difficult of the history of MotoGP for sure because the level of the riders and the level of the bikes is unbelievable.  

“But yes, we are closer than ever to this target. Even if it’s a very difficult target, we are closer than ever.” 

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: MotoGP

Looking ahead to the 2022 campaign, Espargaro believes a realistic target will be to finish in the top six in the riders’ standings this year and score close to 200 points, having amassed 120 in 2021.  

“What’s going to make me happy is difficult to give a clear answer, because I’m always very ambitious – maybe too much,” he added.  

“So, I can do a good championship, maybe finish in the top six and I will not be happy enough. But this is part of life, part of sport.  

“The important thing is to be satisfied with the job and the work you’ve done. And the thing to be satisfied with will be to improve the championship of last year.  

“This will be very important. Last year we finished eighth in the championship, so if this year we are close or even score more than 200 points and to be able to stay inside the top six of the championship, I think it will be a realistic championship.  

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“You cannot finish eighth [one year] and then win the championship the next, this is not realistic even if this is what I want.  

“But we are working very hard, we are not super, super happy about our pre-season.  

“It’s just one more pre-season, we know this is not racing, but we are doing good, the bike has been working good from the first laps Lorenzo [Savadori, Aprilia test rider] did in Malaysia.”  


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