MotoGP: Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro To Retire At The End Of The Season

The premier class veteran called a special press conference before his home grand prix to call it a day on his storied career.

By Carandbike Team


1 mins read


Published on May 24, 2024

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  • Factory Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro announced his retirement
  • The 34-year old Spaniard achieved 3 premier class wins and 11 podiums
  • Espargaro’s career will be credited with leading Aprilia’s revival to the sharp end of the grid

Spanish MotoGP race winner, Aleix Espargaro, has announced that he will retire from full-time racing at the end of the 2024 season. Espargaro, the oldest man on the grid at a spritely 34, confirmed his decision during a heartfelt press conference held before his home race in Barcelona, expressing a mix of relief and gratitude as he prepares to conclude his illustrious career in Valencia later this year.


Espargaro’s career, which began in the 800cc era of MotoGP, spans over 15 years and is marked by resilience and significant contributions to the sport. He first entered the premier class in 2009, stepping in for Mika Kallio at Pramac Ducati. Despite a promising rookie season, Espargaro found himself back in the Moto2 class for 2011. 

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In 2012, he rejoined MotoGP with the Aspar team on a CRT-spec Aprilia, and his consistent performance over the next two years earned him a seat with Forward Racing Yamaha in 2014. His impressive showing on the competitive M1 bike led to a factory ride with Suzuki in 2015, where he played a crucial role in developing the GSX-RR into a competitive machine alongside teammate Maverick Vinales.


Espargaro's move to Aprilia in 2017 marked the beginning of a transformative period for the team. His leadership and determination helped turn Aprilia into a competitive force, culminating in his first MotoGP victory at the 2022 Argentine Grand Prix. He added two more wins in 2023, including a dominant performance at his home track in Barcelona.


Espargaro’s contributions to Aprilia will likely be remembered more for his role in transforming the RS-GP into a race-winning machine than for his individual victories. His dedication and hard work have left a lasting impact on the team, and Aprilia is expected to offer him a test rider role post-retirement to continue benefiting from his expertise.

Beyond his on-track achievements, Espargaro is known for his outspoken personality and advocacy for rider safety. He has often been a vocal leader on issues affecting rider wellbeing, a role he is expected to continue after retiring from full-time racing.


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Looking ahead, Espargaro plans to spend more time cycling, a passion of his, and is open to future opportunities within MotoGP, particularly with the upcoming regulation changes in 2027. For now, his focus remains on enjoying his final season, competing with one of the best bikes on the grid.


Espargaro’s retirement also opens up significant opportunities within the MotoGP paddock. Aprilia will be a key player in the 2025 rider market, likely seeking to secure a top rider to replace him. Current speculation points to interest in Enea Bastianini or Jorge Martin, the latter who shared an emotional moment with Espargaro during the announcement.


Jorge Martin, reflecting on their friendship, praised Espargaro as an important figure in his life, both professionally and personally.


Aleix Espargaro’s announcement marks the end of an era for MotoGP. His journey from an uncertain start to becoming a pivotal figure at Aprilia highlights his determination and passion for the sport. As he prepares to step away from racing, Espargaro leaves behind a legacy of perseverance, leadership, and an unwavering commitment to improving MotoGP.

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