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By Marca

Espargaro's tears of joy, future plans and 2020 dreams

Following his first try of the 2020 Aprilia, Aleix Espargaro sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca for an open and honest interview

After getting his first taste of the RS-GP 20 in Sepang, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Fausto Gresini, Team Manager, admitted that Aleix Espargaro shed tears of joy. A clear indication of the remarkable progress Aprilia has made over the winter. The Spaniard ended the first official test of 2020 just three tenths adrift of top spot in ninth but also impressed with the pace of his race simulation.

The now 30-year-old admitted, during an in-depth interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, that prior to trying Aprilia’s 2020 machine he had considered retirement after three grueling and fruitless years with the Italian factory. However, it appears the 2020 bike has reignited his passion and drive, saying that “a giant revolution” has him looking towards “a couple of competitive seasons”.

“I can't complain,” said Espargaro. “Things have changed a lot. I'm very happy with how the bike has changed and how we started. I wanted to wait for a revolution, a step forward, but not a big one. It is true that the bike is young and that a lot is missing. The level of reliability we have to improve, but the level of competitiveness has taken a very big step.

Aleix Espargaro shows the Aprilia 2020 is race ready

"You have to take [the test results] with a pinch of salt. It's just a test, you have to go to another track and see how the bike works. What matters are Sundays, the races, but it invites us to be positive. We are three tenths off of the fastest, Quartararo, and at the simulation level, in rhythm, we were the most competitive. With our feet on the ground, but you have to do it. It always gives you joy and a lot of motivation.

"The word win is very complicated, very big. And more so with how MotoGP is today. But it does invite you to dream. Yes, I think we will be closer to the fight for the podium. In racing, reliability is very important, not having problems, as we have had in the past.

"I have to consider [retirement] and I still think about it. I am 30 years old, I am still young, but I have other goals in my head. I have a family with which I really want to spend more time. In Aprilia, I have been suffering for nearly four seasons a lot, without seeing any changes. I was thinking about enjoying a competitive motorcycle before I retired. I wanted to wait to see how the 2020 motorcycle worked, where there has been a giant revolution in Aprilia. I think they have fulfilled my wishes, so I would like to make a couple of competitive seasons and if they are with Aprilia, what better after what I've been suffering.”

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