Still a surreal Experience For Aleix Espargaró - "It's Normal for them, but not for me"
After a fantastic 2022 season, Aprilia hopes for another shot at the title in 2023. For Aleix Espargaró, even a year after his first race win, the situation is still not normal.
Aleix Espargaró made Aprilia history with his first career victory at Termas de Rio Hondo in April 2022.
In his 200th race in the premier class, the Spaniard achieved the factory’s first MotoGP win in history.
Although the success in Argentina was Apriliia’s last race win for the time being, it did not diminish the Italians’ successful season.
After years of lagging behind, Aprilia’s concessions and a tireless development team finally helped the factory from Noale to make a breakthrough in 2022.
In 2015, the Italians launched its MotoGP project based on the manufacturer’s then-successful superbike.
Aleix Espargaró has been with the company since 2017. Where many would have given up after several unsuccessful seasons and an unpromising outlook, the Spaniard gritted his teeth and got behind the project.
After years of disappointment, the 2022 season was honey on the Spaniard’s battered soul. Espargaró talks to DAZN about his MotoGP career so far:
“My career has been like a roller coaster. Sometimes a very low roller coaster and sometimes a very high one.”
“It’s an example of how you should never give up because if you work hard in the end you get what you really deserve.”
With a suddenly stronger Aprilia, the elder of the Espargaró brothers shows what he is capable of on a bike.
Fourth place in the championship, a race win and five further podium finishes were the result for the Spaniard. At times Espargaró even led the championship and dreamed of winning the title.
“Immediately after the race, when I won in Argentina, I said to myself: ‘You are very strong, this year you have a good team and a good bike, so why not dream?'”
For Espargaró, it is not yet tangible that he will be a title contender in the new year.
“It doesn’t feel real to me… Every race I get on the podium, every race on the front row in qualifying… It’s very strange. I try to make it seem normal, not stressful, but… It’s not normal.”
What makes him see that the general perception of his situation is different from his perception is his kids.
“Now when I go to the races, my kids always tell me, ‘Dad, remember to bring us a trophy this weekend.’ I tell them, ‘Okay, I’ll bring a trophy.'”
“They don’t really know what their dad was like in the past,” concludes the 33-year-old. “I’ve never brought home a trophy before and this year it’s normal for them, but not for me.”