Espargaro: Aprilia upturn after Gresini death 'not fair'

Aleix Espargaro admits it’s “not fair” that Aprilia is showing the strongest MotoGP form it ever has so far in 2021 after the death of long-time team boss Fausto Gresini.

Double 125cc world champion and veteran team boss Gresini sadly died back in February after a two-month battle with COVID-19.

MotoGP has carried several tributes to the late Italian since, including a moment of silence ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix, while Aprilia – whose factory entrant is run by Gresini Racing – carries its late team boss’ name on its RS-GPs.

Ahead of last Sunday’s race in Portugal, MotoGP joined together with the Formula 1 paddock in Gresini’s hometown of Imola for a minute of silence.

Espargaro finished just 8.8 seconds from the win in Portimao, scoring just the sixth top six finish for Aprilia in MotoGP in sixth while holding that position in the championship.

He admits this turn of speed Aprilia is showing with its new RS-GP in 2021 is making him “angry” that is happening without Gresini there to share in the celebrations.

“I’m proud about what we are doing, I believe he is watching,” Espargaro said of Gresini.

“But I feel very sorry because it’s my fifth season here and why does it have to be the season that I’m fast like this without him?

“It’s not fair, I’d really love to see his face after I arrive to the garage after a race like this.

“Fausto believed a lot in my potential. I think one of the team managers that believed more in my talent from a long time ago.

“So now I’m fighting at the top with his bike and his project but he’s not here, it makes me a little bit angry.

“But anyway, I’m sure what we did for him between MotoGP and Formula 1 is just one more example of how big Fausto was, how important Fausto was.”

Read Also:

Espargaro says he thought he’d be closer to the podium in Portugal than he ended up, but suffered with a lack of grip in the hot temperatures.

Nevertheless, he is convinced “100%” that Aprilia will be on the podium in 2021.

“I think step by step, the season is very long,” he added.

“We’re P6 in the championship, I fight in the podium group in the three races more or less and this gives me a lot of confidence.

“Step by step I will be able to improve my confidence and fight for the podium.

“Sincerely after the warm-up I was quite sure I was able to fight for it, but I had no grip due to the track temperature and I spin a lot.

“Anyway, I’m happy overall with my performance. To go top six in MotoGP with Aprilia is something important, but I think Jerez we can be even closer.

“So, step by step this year we will be on the podium, 100%, we will not wait till next year.”

shares
comments
Injured Martin to be replaced by Rabat at Jerez MotoGP
Previous article

Injured Martin to be replaced by Rabat at Jerez MotoGP

Next article

Miller "in the trenches" after poor MotoGP run

Miller "in the trenches" after poor MotoGP run
Load comments
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021