Espargaro wants Aprilia to replicate Ducati/Dovizioso MotoGP example

Lewis Duncan
Espargaro wants Aprilia to replicate Ducati/Dovizioso
Espargaro wants Aprilia to replicate Ducati/Dovizioso

Aleix Espargaro says his "objective" with Aprilia in MotoGP is to replicate what Andrea Dovizioso has achieved at Ducati, as his and the team's transformation has been "unbelievable".

Dovizioso joined Ducati in 2013, but did not get his first podium for the marque until two years later.

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However, he has been runner-up in the championship and Marc Marquez's closest rival for the last three seasons.

Aprilia finished last in this year's manufacturers' standings, and Espargaro was 14th in the riders' table having managed just five top-10 finishes.

After commenting that Dovizioso is his favourite rider, and saying Ducati's strategy of keeping Dovizioso as part of a stable line-up was "clever", Espargaro said Aprilia has to follow this example.

"It is, this is our objective [to replicate Dovizioso and Ducati], 100%," said Espargaro, when asked by Autosport if what Dovizioso has done was an inspiration for him.

"This is what we would like. The easiest thing would be to change team and find a factory bike, another place even in a private team and try to fight for the podium.

"But the nice thing, and the thing that I would like, is to put Aprilia on the podiums as he did with Ducati.

"When he arrived at Ducati, the Ducati was super far [from the front] and look at the level of the bike now.

"He's close this year to 300 points [Dovizioso score 269 in 2019]; this is unbelievable.

"The problem is the best rider in history [Marquez] is there, so second place in the championship is like a title."

Aprilia is set to radically overhaul its RS-GP in 2020, though had nothing new to trial at the Valencia and Jerez tests in November.

Espargaro wants Aprilia to replicate Ducati/Dovizioso
Espargaro wants Aprilia to replicate Ducati/Dovizioso

Though the manufacturer's owner Piaggio is "very big", Espargaro said Aprilia is "proving on track" with its results that it is MotoGP's smallest manufacturer and that its resources do not currently match that of the rest of the grid.

"Today, no," he replied, when asked if Aprilia's resources are enough to battle the big teams.

"Because it's there, you can see the results we've done in the last three years, but Aprilia joined MotoGP in the last five years [in 2015].

"So, it looks like we are missing something because we are not at the level of our rivals.

"What I want to say that actually Aprilia is very, very big. Piaggio group is very big, so we have to prove that on track.

"I hope that in the future we can change this. It's not nice to hear - it's the reality - but it's not nice to hear from you guys that we are the smallest ones, but this is what we are proving on track.

"So, this is what we have to change."

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