Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales will continue to make up Aprilia’s MotoGP race line-up in 2023 and 2024, the Italian brand announced at Mugello on Thursday.
Aprilia confirmed the news in an ‘exceptional’ press conference on Thursday afternoon ahead of the marque’s home Italian Grand Prix this weekend, Espargaro and Vinales both receiving a two-year extension at the squad.
Espargaro has been outspoken in recent months about the slow progress in getting a deal over the line with Aprilia following his stunning 2022 term so far, one that sees him sit second in the riders standings off the back of a maiden win in the series in Argentina, as well as three consecutive third-place results prior to the Italian contest this weekend.
“This confirmation was just what the doctor ordered. We’ve worked hard together and grown together, we were a hope, now we are reality,” said Espargaro.
“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 meanwhile has largely struggled for outright results since joining Aprilia for the final six races of 2021, the Spaniard in particular currently lacking qualifying speed that means despite possessing decent race pace, finishes comparable to his team-mate have been hard 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 premier class race winner heads to Mugello 13th in the overall standings having scored a best result of seventh so far in Argentina.
Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola meanwhile added that he was happy that the team has “the peace of mind” to continue to “grow a lot” over the next two years by keeping its rider roster consistent.
“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.”