Aprilia Extend Contracts With Aleix Espargaro And Maverick Viñales Through 2024

Aprilia have decided on their MotoGP line up for the next two seasons. At Mugello, they announced that they will be keeping Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales for 2023 and 2024.

The announcement does not come as a huge surprise. Despite rumors that Aleix Espargaro had been displeased with the initial offer Aprilia made, the two sides have agreed terms for the next two years. The decision to extend with Maverick Viñales is a decision based more on expectation than current results, as the Spaniard continues to make progress toward being competitive. How much more progress is possible remains to be seen.

The signing of Espargaro and Viñales brings the total number of riders with a contract for next year to six. Marc Marquez, Brad Binder, and Pecco Bagnaia are signed through 2024, while Franco Morbidelli has a contract with Yamaha for 2023.

The next domino to fall will be either Fabio Quartararo, who is expected to renew his contract with Yamaha, or an announcement from Ducati. Ducati are currently n the middle of deciding which of their riders to place where for 2023, with Enea Bastianini, Jorge Martin, Johann Zarco, and Jack Miller vying for one spot in the factory squad and two seats at Pramac Ducati.

The press release appears below:


APRILIA RACING CONFIRMS THEIR FACTORY RIDERS FOR THE 2023/2024 TWO-YEAR PERIOD
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ AND MAVERICK VIÑALES WILL BE ON THE FACTORY RS-GP MACHINES FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD

ALEIX: “WE ARE GOING THROUGH A GREAT TIME, WE ARE A CONCRETE REALITY AND NOW I WANT TO KEEP GROWING WITH APRILIA”
MAVERICK: “CONFIRMATION FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD, BEING PART OF THE PROJECT, GIVES ME THE PEACE OF MIND TO SET GREAT GOALS FOR MYSELF”
MASSIMO RIVOLA: “WE ARE PROVIDING CONTINUITY TO A PROJECT THAT HAS JUST BEGUN TO REVEAL ITS POTENTIAL”

Under the sign of continuity, Aprilia Racing confirms their riders. Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales will be astride the factory RS-GP machines in the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

With more than one-third of the races in the current season already done and dusted, Aleix Espargaró and his Aprilia are two top protagonists in the championship. With one win and three consecutive podiums, Aleix is reaping the fruits of a combination which is also based on the reciprocal and profound harmony with his team. In this situation, the synergy between bike and rider is one of the key factors for success.

Confirmation is based on this line of thinking for both the winner of the Argentinian GP and Maverick, who now has the same goals of increasingly closer integration with the Factory bike from Veneto.

Aleix Espargaró

"This confirmation was just what the doctor ordered. 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.”

Maverick Viñales

"I'm extremely happy to continue my work with Aprilia Racing. 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."

Massimo Rivola

"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. 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."

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Comments

I wouldn't have re-signed Vinales yet. He still struggles with a full tank after doing the same at Yamaha for how many years? I wouldn't have pulled the trigger just yet knowing that Mir and Rins are on the market. Well unless Vinales is coming cheap, and I mean CHEAP like the rookies cheap.

I've got to think Morbidelli's performance this season might make his seat vulnerable? Would Yamaha have an out based on how he's been doing? I'd sure like to see him re-capture his form, though. Also, he adds a different element in terms of his personality. 

With Alex Rins and Joan Mir available, they decide to keep Maverick for the next TWO years!? Maybe they just don't want a rider on the payroll taking points away from Aleix.

I just don't see the potential anymore. This was the perfect opportunity to get a fast guy who has less emotional issues. Oliveira, Rins....

I'm not sure that staying in MotoGP is good for Vinales career arc, but maybe he will get things moving in the right direction. He has the ability to run competitive lap times, but not over race distance. Full tank of fuel is his kryptonite on these tires. Seems like WSBK is calling his name, but maybe he wants to spend the last of his prime chasing glory in GP.

it seems at Aprilia. Incredible that somehow we still even have riders on teams without a riders union. You know its almost like we already have said union: you can be .5 second a lap behind your team-mate, have an attitude problem and still get a renewal. The return of Karel, just this time daddy is an energy drink firm? 

Great news Aleix, he's definitely the man to keep that project going. Bad news Viñales, I don't think he'll ever be close to the champion they were hoping for. Unless Aprilia are taking over Suzuki's grid slots, they have wasted an opportunity to get new talent on their bike. Viñales does not seem capable of any consistent qualifying and early lap pace no matter what bike he has. Doubly surprising it's a 2 year deal, they really should've only extended one to make sure he can prove himself.

Great to see Aprilia backing Aleix for 2 more years.

Maverick is only 27 he may come good, we'll see.

Updated engine in the RS-GP for Mugello, I hope it's a good one.

Announcement regarding Aprilia's satellite team coming soon. According to Massimo Rivola it will be real soon. "very soon" "around this time" "It's an opportunity" "Yes or no in very few days"

https://www.motogp.com/en/videos/2022/05/26/very-soon-aprilia-ceo-teases...

Mugello 2022 starts in a few hours. I am excited! 

Would have loved to see Aliex on one and Rins on the other bike.  As per other commenters, Vinales just seems to be a few snags short of a barbie.  Aprilia really seems to be a totally different company (for the better) now if you look at the appalling way they treated Redding and especially Lowes.  Aprilia stood by Ianonne till the bitter end and now they're showing a lot of faith in Vinales as well, at a time when lots of talent is on the market.  An Albesiano-run Aprilia would have punted both riders I reckon.

Hope they get their satellite team up and running.

Hey, there is alot going on quickly now after our collective pause.

I got a wish and Pramac has gone PURPLE. Actually my wish was for a black bike to go a fresh rich color, but hey - close enough. Looks great! Have you seen it yet? You will tomorrow on track. Permanent, not special livery. Lovely!

OK, better yet. Insiders are saying it is being finalized, our no longer Aqua Malaysian friends have ditched Yamaha for Aprilia! Going to be inked after this weekend. Is that good news? I think so. Interesting for sure. Bit of a changing of the guard, and a no confidence vote for Blue. I would love to get a frank assessment from The Ponch about it, which he is far too politically minded to directly share, but expressive enough to express between the lines and eyebrows. Anyhoo, looks a done deal. 

I know one Yamaha fan here I enjoy giving a hard time, perhaps he will wave his Dhand for a comment? 

I would have hoped for Gresini to become the satellite, though I guess with them going so very strongly after a switch to Ducati I suppose they would not want to move.  For Aprilia is this a good move?  Although 2019 was a stellar year for Petronas-Yam, the way it all fell apart last year was odd and spoke of things going on below the surface.  Razali's comments re Petronas after the split were pretty unprofessional.  I've heard of things which show up on MGPUnlimited but of course living in Australia we don't get to see it. 

Will be interesting for sure though.  So, question now is does VR46 go Blue?  If Yam can move on from their 'factory' and 'scraps for the customer' mentality and provide factory-level bikes and support per Ducati & KTM, then in the bigger picture being on a Yamaha is historically a pretty good gig.

Mir is pretty strongly linked to HRC, but nothing much for Rins other than KTM rumours.  I don't think he'd be a good fit on KTM, he ought to be on Yamaha or Aprilia, maybe Ducati.

Oof, tweet just landed now with official announcement of RNF to Aprilia...