Aprilia confirmed on Thursday at Mugello that Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales would continue representing the squad in MotoGP for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
Aprilia made the announcement in a press conference held on Thursday afternoon, ahead of the marque’s home Italian Grand Prix this weekend, with both Espargaro and Vinales signing two-year extensions.
The announcement comes as Espargaro has been vocal in recent months about the slow pace with which Aprilia has been able to finalise a deal following his outstanding 2022 season thus far, which has seen him finish second in the riders standings after a maiden win in the series in Argentina, as well as three consecutive third-place finishes leading up to this weekend’s Italian race.
“This confirmation was just what the doctor ordered,” said Espargaro. “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.”
Vinales has largely struggled for outright results, with the Spaniard in particular currently lacking qualifying speed, since joining Aprilia for the final six races of 2021.
Despite having decent race pace, finishes comparable to his teammate have been difficult to come by due to starting well outside the top ten.
“I’m extremely happy to continue my work with Aprilia Racing,” said Vinales on his new deal. “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.”
The nine-time MotoGP race winner enters Mugello 13th in the overall standings, with a best finish of seventh in Argentina thus far.
Massimo Rivola, CEO of Aprilia Racing, expressed his delight that the team now has “the peace of mind” to continue to develop more over the next two years by maintaining its rider lineup.
“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,” explained Rivola.
“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.”