Aprilia have decided on their MotoGP line up for the next two seasons. At Mugello, they announced that they will be keeping Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales for 2023 and 2024.
The announcement does not come as a huge surprise. Despite rumors that Aleix Espargaro had been displeased with the initial offer Aprilia made, the two sides have agreed terms for the next two years. The decision to extend with Maverick Viñales is a decision based more on expectation than current results, as the Spaniard continues to make progress toward being competitive. How much more progress is possible remains to be seen.
The signing of Espargaro and Viñales brings the total number of riders with a contract for next year to six. Marc Marquez, Brad Binder, and Pecco Bagnaia are signed through 2024, while Franco Morbidelli has a contract with Yamaha for 2023.
The next domino to fall will be either Fabio Quartararo, who is expected to renew his contract with Yamaha, or an announcement from Ducati. Ducati are currently n the middle of deciding which of their riders to place where for 2023, with Enea Bastianini, Jorge Martin, Johann Zarco, and Jack Miller vying for one spot in the factory squad and two seats at Pramac Ducati.
The press release appears below:
APRILIA RACING CONFIRMS THEIR FACTORY RIDERS FOR THE 2023/2024 TWO-YEAR PERIOD
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ AND MAVERICK VIÑALES WILL BE ON THE FACTORY RS-GP MACHINES FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD
ALEIX: “WE ARE GOING THROUGH A GREAT TIME, WE ARE A CONCRETE REALITY AND NOW I WANT TO KEEP GROWING WITH APRILIA”
MAVERICK: “CONFIRMATION FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD, BEING PART OF THE PROJECT, GIVES ME THE PEACE OF MIND TO SET GREAT GOALS FOR MYSELF”
MASSIMO RIVOLA: “WE ARE PROVIDING CONTINUITY TO A PROJECT THAT HAS JUST BEGUN TO REVEAL ITS POTENTIAL”
Under the sign of continuity, Aprilia Racing confirms their riders. Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales will be astride the factory RS-GP machines in the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
With more than one-third of the races in the current season already done and dusted, Aleix Espargaró and his Aprilia are two top protagonists in the championship. With one win and three consecutive podiums, Aleix is reaping the fruits of a combination which is also based on the reciprocal and profound harmony with his team. In this situation, the synergy between bike and rider is one of the key factors for success.
Confirmation is based on this line of thinking for both the winner of the Argentinian GP and Maverick, who now has the same goals of increasingly closer integration with the Factory bike from Veneto.
"This confirmation was just what the doctor ordered. We’ve worked hard together and grown together. We were a hope, now we are reality. In 2021 we had already seen clear signs of our steps forward and now we are able to battle consistently with the best in the world. Continuing to do so with Aprilia is a source of pride for me. We can grow even more and we want to demonstrate that on the track.”
"I'm extremely happy to continue my work with Aprilia Racing. Now our horizons are expanding and we’ll be able to work with continuity to achieve ambitious goals. I believe in this project and I'm happy to be part of it. I’ve found a fantastic environment in Aprilia and this confirmation gives me the peace of mind to grow the way this team and I deserve to."
"All the good we are doing this season is the fruit of many components, certainly the value of our designers and our technicians led by Romano Albesiano, the overall growth of our racing department and, in large part, the synergy that our Captain Aleix has skilfully built with the bike and with the team. So, we set the goal of continuing along these lines, both with Aleix and with Maverick, and I am pleased with these confirmations today. We still need to grow a lot and now we have the peace of mind to do so."