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Monday, June 17, 2024

Three-time MotoGP race winner Aleix Espargaro to retire

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The 34-year-old Spaniard will make the announcement on Thursday afternoon forward of his house Catalan Grand Prix at Barcelona, the place he gained each the Saturday and Sunday races final 12 months.

Espargaro’s present Aprilia contract expires on the finish of this 12 months and he had already admitted on the signing of this deal two years in the past that he anticipated it to be his final.

Regardless of telling media on the Americas GP that he was still to decide on what he wanted to do for 2025, he has elected to name time on his racing profession.

Espargaro made his MotoGP debut in 2009 as a alternative rider at Pramac Ducati on the Indianapolis GP, scoring factors in his maiden race in thirteenth.

He would make 4 appearances in whole that 12 months, all of them yielding factors, earlier than signing full-time with Pramac for 2010.

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Attaining a better of eighth in an injury-hit season, Espargaro returned to the intermediate class in 2011. He completed twelfth within the Moto2 standings, having scored a primary grand prix podium at Barcelona.

He returned to MotoGP in 2012 with the Aspar squad aboard an Aprilia-powered CRT machine, scoring in all however two rounds to finish the marketing campaign as prime CRT rider.

Aleix Espargaro, Aspar ART, leads his team-mate Randy De Puniet

Photograph by: Kevin Wooden / Motorsport Images

He did the identical in 2013 earlier than transferring to the Ahead Racing squad on an Open class Yamaha machine – on which he scored a lucky first pole at Assen after which beat Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow in a race to the road at Aragon to complete second.

Espargaro signed a manufacturing unit deal for 2015 to hitch the fledgling Suzuki mission alongside his present Aprilia team-mate Maverick Vinales.

Instrumental within the growth of the GSX-RR that might finally win the championship with Joan Mir in 2020, Espargaro was a constant prime eight challenger on the bike however by no means scaled the identical race-winning heights as Vinales.

A transfer to Aprilia’s manufacturing unit mission in 2017 adopted, with Espargaro extracting essentially the most out of a motorbike few ever thought to be being MotoGP-worthy throughout his first three seasons.

After a very tough 2019, Espargaro thought-about retirement, however elected to proceed with Aprilia into 2020.

In 2021 he made historical past on the British GP when he scored Aprilia’s first MotoGP podium with a 3rd at Silverstone, following that up in 2022 together with his and the crew’s first win in Argentina.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Staff

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro fought for the championship in 2022 till the latter phases, and though a title problem didn’t materialise in an inconsistent season for Aprilia in 2023 he nonetheless gained two grands prix.

Throughout his time in grand prix racing, Espargaro has additionally usually been an outspoken voice on security within the championship and pushing for essential modifications.

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