The binomial Aprilia-Aleix Espargarò represents the true fairytale of this 2022 MotoGP season. The manufacturer from Noale and the driver from Granolleres have grown together step by step over the last few years and at the beginning of the season there was the awareness that this year could have been a good one to reap what was sown in the past. But no one would probably have imagined seeing the # 41 black bike competing for the world title. Instead, after seven races, Espargarò and Aprilia are second in the rider standings just four points behind Fabio Quartararo and Yamaha and can already boast a win and four podiums. Dreaming of the title is not forbidden and Aleix seems to believe it most of all, as he reiterated on several occasions in front of the media.
On the horizon, however, there are clouds that hover dangerously over this fairy tale. The contract renewal between the Iberian centaur and the Italian house, in fact, it is slow in coming. Massimo Rivola has recently been super-optimistic about the joint future of the two parties. Espargarò on his part seems equally eager to stay with the Noale team, but does not want to give up on some points. Interviewed by Spanish site AS, the Iberian manager provided clarification on the whole affair Albert Valera, who in addition to Aleix also follows Jorge Martín and Pedro Acosta and in the past had been the agent of Jorge Lorenzo. “One of the reasons [del ritardo nella firma] is that this year the market is slower and both the drivers and the teams are taking more time “ Valera explained.
But the central crux of the story, as often happens in these cases, is above all cheap: “Aprilia did not expect the level that Aleix is showing this year – explained the Spanish agent – and this led us to try to improve the contract, something that Aprilia did not take into consideration for next year’s budgets. Aprilia is trying to figure out how to adjust the budget in order to present an offer worthy of the level that Aleix is showing“. But Valera also added other words, teasing the Italian house: “If Aleix Espargaró is really ‘the captain’ for Aprilia, as they say, they must also prove it in the contract. The proposed improvement is very small – he commented – and I consider it as a reduction in salary if we take into account the increase in performance that Aleix has had and the very small increase that they are offering us“.
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