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Aleix Espargaro Announces MotoGP Retirement

Gold and Goose

Aleix Espargaro will retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2024 season, he has announced in an exceptional press conference ahead of this weekend's MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix.

2024 marks Espargaro's 14th full-time season in MotoGP, having made his debut in 2009 in place of Mika Kallio at the Pramac Ducati team, when Kallio was subbing for the absent Casey Stoner.

Aleix Espargaro kids, 2023 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix. Credit: Gold and Goose.

Espargaro first rose to real prominence in the premier class during his time in the CRT class with the Aspar team and their ART Aprilia, derived from the production RSV4 that won the World Superbike Championship in 2010, 2012, and 2014.


When CRT morphed into Open, Espargaro switched to the Forward team, which ran Open class Yamahas in 2014. Espargaro was on pole in Qatar and at the Dutch TT that year, and finished on the podium in mixed conditions at Aragon.

A move to Suzuki came next when the Hamamatsu marque rejoined MotoGP in 2015. There, he partnered Maverick Vinales, who left Suzuki for Yamaha at the end of 2016. As for Espargaro, Suzuki declined to renew him, and so he joined Aprilia, where he played an integral role in building the RS-GP from a bike which struggled to score points into one which can challenge for Grand Prix victories. Indeed, it was Espargaro who took the RS-GP's first MotoGP win at the 2022 Argentinian Grand Prix.

Three more race wins came in 2023, with Grand Prix victories in Silverstone and at home in Catalunya, and a Sprint win at the latter, too.

Aleix Espargaro kids, 2024 MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix. Credit: Gold and Goose.

Espargaro's retirement is one that is born out of the choice to do so, unlike that of his brother, Pol Espargaro, at the end of last year, when injuries sustained at the opening round in Portugal prevented him from performing at his true potential, prompting KTM to choose Pedro Acosta over him for 2024.

Pol has now moved into media work with Spanish MotoGP broadcaster DAZN, but also still works for KTM as an official MotoGP test rider, alongside Dani Pedrosa and Jonas Folger.

Aprilia's MotoGP test team currently only utilises Lorenzo Savadori as a test rider, and Espargaro has indicated previously that a role in the test team would interest him.

Espargaro's now impending retirement puts Aprilia in the prime position to take advantage of any fallout from Ducati's choice between Enea Bastianini, Jorge Martin, and Marc Marquez for the second seat in its factory team for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

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