MotoGP talk until midnight! Aleix Espargaro convinced Jorge Martin of Aprilia

Aleix Espargaro will end his MotoGP career as a full-time racer with the last Grand Prix of the 2024 season. But before he goes to Honda as a test rider, he has done his long-time employer Aprilia a great service before his farewell races. It is about the signing of Jorge Martin from the 2025 season.

Espargaro edits Martin: Aprilia the perfect place!

Espargaro and championship leader Martin are known to be very good friends. Therefore, the veteran was well informed about what was going on in the Ducati camp at the MotoGP weekend in Mugello. “It was a pretty unique situation. After the race, Jorge and his manager Albert realized that his chance at Ducati was not as clear as they had thought. So they started talking to other manufacturers,” reports Espargaro.

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Marc Marquez had put Ducati under pressure by publicly rejecting a place at Pramac. The factory place originally intended for Martin was suddenly in jeopardy. Espargaro put in the effort: “He came to my motorhome. We talked until midnight. I simply tried to explain to him and convince him that Aprilia was his best option. I know how great Aprilia’s potential is, how good my team is. I also know Jorge’s talent. It was clear to me that Aprilia was the perfect place for him.”

Aprilia teamwork: Chance to get Jorge Martin is seized immediately

Aprilia boss Massimo Rivola could only thank Espargaro for this service to his team: “We wanted to have a top rider. After his retirement, Aleix deserved the best possible successor. And then he helped us get Jorge.” The Catalan returned the praise: “I’m glad I convinced him. But then Massimo was also very clever in preparing everything very quickly. It was a very good opportunity for Aprilia that we never thought would come.” Just one day later, the contract was signed and Aprilia had pulled off one of the biggest transfer coups of recent years.

The deal with Jorge Martin was quickly completed, Photo: Aprilia Media
The deal with Jorge Martin was quickly completed, Photo: Aprilia Media

The fact that his best friend in the MotoGP paddock will now be his successor is something very special for Espargaro: “I am very happy for both sides, for Aprilia and Jorge. I wish them all the best. For me it is a dream that Jorge will ride my bike next year.” However, as mentioned, the two will no longer work together. Martin will not be able to get any help from his friend as he settles into the team and on the bike.

No more excuses: Aprilia must fight for MotoGP title in 2025

Nevertheless, Espargaro is convinced that the current world championship leader will also fight for the title with Aprilia: “I will put my money on him doing it. Since I joined Aprilia eight years ago, we have never stopped improving. I have won a few races in recent years. He has a lot of talent and a great hunger for success. He is still young and everyone in Noale is super motivated because they now have one of the strongest riders in the field. So I am 100% sure that he will fight for it.”

Rivola also left no doubt that the aim of signing Martin could not be anything else: “Jorge fought for the championship last year and will do so again this year. And we want to achieve that with our bike next year.” But having such a rider in the garage also means pressure to succeed. But that is exactly what Aprilia wanted: “There is a lot of excitement. The message to the whole company is: There are no more excuses.”

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