Aleix Espargaró retires from MotoGP

23rd May 2024
Russell Campbell

The 2024 MotoGP season will be Aleix Espargaró's last in the sport. At a press conference ahead of his home race in Barcelona, he said: "I'm very happy - and there are many, many, many riders in the world, in this space today, that won a lot more than me. But I gave everything I had. Maybe other riders, as a present, can let me win this weekend!"


Espargaró got his big break in MotoGP when Finn Mika Kallio graduated from the Pramac Ducati to cover an unwell Casey Stoner on the factory Ducati. Four races on, Espargaró was offered a full-time slot on the 800cc machine for the 2010 season.

In his rookie season, he finished 14th in the championship, with 11 top-ten finishes. However, he stepped back to Moto2 for the following season before returning to MotoGP in 2012 on the Aspar team's CRT-spec Aprilia. He rode that bike to seventh in the championship, earning himself a factory ride with Suzuki for 2015. 

As a development rider, Espargaró is credited with turning the Suzuki GSX-RR into a race winner. He stayed with the company until 2017, when he switched to Aprilia, taking his first grand prix win with the team in 2022. Two more victories followed in 2023 as a reward for Espargaró’s development of Aprilia's RS-GP, and the veteran is tipped to get a test-rider deal with the Italian bike builder. 


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Espargaró said: "For sure I will do more and more kilometres with the bicycle, which is a thing that I love.

"In terms of my future, we will have time to talk about it. I just want to enjoy this moment. I worked very hard all my career to arrive here. I still have a long season in front of me, with one of the best bikes on the grid, good opportunity to fight for podiums and victories. So, we will have plenty of time.

“I think also about the future now, with the changes on the regulations, I will have some possibilities to do the testing, but for the moment I just want to enjoy and have fun.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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