Espargaro: Dovizioso not competitive on Aprilia
Saturday 10th July, 2021 - 10:13am
Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro has declared that potential MotoGP team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was not competitive in his tests on the bike.
Dovizioso, who departed Ducati at the end of 2020, rode the RS-GP at Jerez in April and a wet Mugello in May before signing a formal testing deal with the Noale marque.
However, the 15-time premier class race winner has shown no obvious interest in racing with Aprilia this year, stating two months ago that it “wasn’t in the plan for me at the moment.”
Espargaro is in his fifth season with Aprilia while current team-mate Lorenzo Savadori is a MotoGP rookie who has only 12 starts to his name, with the sum of his other grand prix experience being 31 races in the 125cc class more than a decade ago.
Despite the obvious need to bolster the line-up, for development as well as competitiveness on race weekends, #41 cannot see Dovizioso racing in the same squad as him in 2022.
“It’s difficult to evolve the bike because, when something new comes along, you have to test it,” Espargaro told DAZN.
“They wanted me to do a couple of tests during the summer break and get in the wind tunnel.
“It would be helpful to have a stronger team-mate or a satellite team.
“Dovizioso has done a couple of tests with us, but he hasn’t been very competitive so far and doesn’t seem to want to race.
“I’m a big fan of his but it’s hard to see him as my team-mate.”
Viñales has been strongly linked to Aprilia although his last comments on the matter, shortly after finishing second in the Dutch TT, were that no deal had yet been done.
Another theory was that he might become a target of Ducati again, after the Bologna marque had tried to lure him before signing his current contract with Yamaha.
However, Ducati Team manager Davide Tardozzi has indicated that is unlikely, declaring the manufacturer to be “very pleased” with Jack Miller, Francesco Bagnaia, and its contracted satellite team riders.
MotoGP is on its summer break at present, with Round 10 being the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria at the Red Bull Ring on August 6-8.