Aleix an inspiration to others at perfect venue

Remember what we were always told by parents, teachers and coaches when growing up. If you don’t succeed try, try again. The history of the Red Bull Ring and Aleix Espargaro’s crazy celebrations with family and the Aprilia team in the Silverstone pit lane last week just endorsed that advice. It also gave real inspiration to other MotoGP™ riders and perhaps Johan Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) in particular, to never give up the chase of that first premier class victory. Aleix’s brilliant win at Silverstone was not only his second premier class victory but also just his second Grand Prix in any class. That first win came in Argentina after a long, long wait. It was 12 years 216 days after making his MotoGP™ debut that Espargaro finally did it on the Aprilia in Argentina last season. That second win in the superb Silverstone race came one year and
125 days later. Twenty-six Grands Prix after the Argentinian victory on his 200th MotoGP™ appearance. I don’t think he will have to wait that long for his third.
Double Moto2™ World Champion Zarco may be fighting for his MotoGP™ future, as he chases that elusive first premier class win which would surely ease the pressure. The Frenchman is a mere novice compared to Espargaro. He has made 113 MotoGP™ starts since his debut in Qatar six years and 147 days ago. Zarco has come so close with an amazing 11 second place finishes in that period.
With fewer Grands Prix in the past, others had to wait even longer than Aleix before seeing that chequered flag. Australian Jack Findlay burnt plenty of rubber racing and travelling around Europe. He made his 500cc Grand Prix debut in the 1958 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Thirteen years, 25 weeks later he secured that first win in the 1971 Ulster Grand Prix riding the Suzuki around the demanding Dundrod road circuit.
For some very talented riders that first victory just never came. Who will ever forget Colin Edwards crashing out of the very last bend in 2006 at Assen while in sight and sound of that elusive first Grand Prix win. His fall handed the race to American countryman Nick Hayden who went on to win the world title. For Colin, his big chance disappeared in the Dutch gravel, and it never returned. His loyalty to team-mate Valentino Rossi and Yamaha brought them world titles. His 12 podium finishes in 196 MotoGP™ appearances deserved so much more. It was not to be.
For others, it was such a very different story counting hours and minutes, rather than years and days, to that first premier class win. Italian Max Biaggi, Finn Jarno Saarinen and British Norton rider Geoff Duke were all members of that first-time club. Biaggi, the four time 250cc World Champion, became the first European rider to win a 500cc Grand Prix in Japan and the first rider to win in 25 years on his Premier class debut at Suzuka in 1998. It was Saarinen who was that previous winner, with victory on the new two-stroke Yamaha at Paul Ricard in France. In 1950 Duke won the Senior TT on the Isle of Man on his 500cc debut. Only Duke went on to achieve World Championship success with four 500cc world titles. Biaggi won 12 more Grands Prix and finished second three times in the World Championship. Saarinen won the opening two rounds but was killed in a multi-bike 250cc crash in Monza.
The riders arrive in Austria this weekend to compete at a circuit that has provided three riders their first MotoGP™ wins in the last seven years. Andrea Iannone, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) and Miguel Olivera (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) all stood on the top step of the podium for the first time at the Red Bull Ring in both Austrian and Styrian Grands Prix. So, the venue and the time is right for it to happen again on Sunday before time runs out for some.

Follow the entire 2023 Season LIVE & VOD with VideoPass!