Skip to main content

Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro has officially announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2024 season.

This story is powered by Motorsport Week – for more reports from the world of motorsport, click here.

The 34-year-old made the announcement in an exceptional press conference on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“At the end of this season I will retire from MotoGP as a full-time rider, ” he said. “It has been a nice journey and I enjoyed it a lot so thank you everybody! I am very happy and you know there are many riders who have won more than me and I have worked very hard to reach a high level. It has been a wonderful 20 years in this paddock and I am very happy and proud of what we have achieved together with Aprilia. Seeing all these memories these last two or three seasons were amazing. I mean, I was dreaming.

“One of the reasons why I decided to stop was because for me, it’s enough, I have many fans and I want to retire with good feeling. I’m extremely happy. It hasn’t been an easy week as it feels like I was jumping in a really strange place but I’m very happy. I tried to be fair with myself. I felt maybe I would like to stay a bit more time at home, I would love to stay with my kids and live my home life. I am fair with myself. If you are not 100% focused on being a MotoGP rider today is very difficult to be on top so this is why I have taken the decision [to retire].”

Regarding this weekend at his home GP, Aleix stated: “We have a very nice weekend ahead of us, at a track I like and where I am fast, and there are still plenty of races left until Valencia to be competitive.”

When the Spaniard arrived in the premier class in 2009, he had stints with Pramac Racing, Power Electronics Aspar ART, Forward Yamaha and Suzuki before going to Aprilia in 2017. Espargaro chose to stay loyal to the Italian marque and endured a difficult few seasons until 2021 which saw a dramatic shift in the bike’s overall competitiveness.

To his credit he was able to achieve a place on the rostrum at Silverstone in 2021, Aprilia’s first in MotoGP and the second of his MotoGP career, nearly seven years after his first. In the 2022 Argentine GP, Espargaro was able to claim his maiden win with his 200th premier-class start, which was also a first for Aprilia in the MotoGP era. To add to his accolades he finished fourth in the championship that year, featuring on the podium a further five times.

The Spaniard’s achievements with Aprilia expanded further in 2023 with him winning at Silverstone in a heated last-lap battle with reigning double world champion Francesco Bagnaia, with his last win to date in front of his home crowd at Catalunya.