Aleix Espargaro describes his Qatar MotoGP experience as “roughed up”, depicting Aprilia as a “dull blade”.

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“Aprilia appeared to be a dull blade,” following Aleix Espargaro’s disappointing P8 finish at the Qatar MotoGP.

The letdown at the Qatar MotoGP for Aprilia and Aleix Espargaro has been compared to “a blunt knife.”

Espargaro, at one of his favored tracks, closed out the Saturday sprint race with a strong performance, clinching a podium finish. This set high expectations for Sunday’s grand prix, with many in the paddock tipping him as the likely winner.

However, a disappointing race led to an eighth-place finish, attributed to a lack of rear grip.

“Strange,” was how Michael Laverty of TNT Sports described Espargaro’s race.

“Something didn’t click,” he continued.

“Right from the start, he was struggling. He was losing positions, getting overtaken in the first couple of laps.

“We were anticipating a turnaround when he was just 3.84 seconds off the lead. We thought the grip would improve for Aleix.

“But it just didn’t happen, and he fell further behind.”

“It could have been the cooler track temperatures or perhaps everyone else just made strides overnight.

“But it did feel as though Aprilia was akin to a dull blade.

“They were expected to be the ones challenging the Ducatis, yet they fell short.”


Espargaro, the eldest rider on the 2024 MotoGP grid at 34, confessed that he woke up on Sunday morning with hopes of securing a win in Qatar.

However, he quickly realized during the race, eventually won by Francesco Bagnaia, that he was “extremely slow.”

“Even on the warm-up lap to the grid, I felt like I had no grip at all. Something was off with the rear tire,” Espargaro revealed.

“We need to investigate what went wrong with Michelin and the team.

“Considering the pace we demonstrated in the latter part of the Sprint, I had envisioned a completely different race.

“But I was powerless. It turned into a nightmare throughout the entire race.”

Later, he expressed, “I’m a bit frustrated because we missed out on a great opportunity.

“Nevertheless, I depart Qatar with the knowledge that I have a competitive bike, and the championship has just begun.”

Aprilia had been anticipated to be Ducati’s closest rival at the season opener, but following an unusual Sunday, this expectation never materialized.

Instead, KTM’s Brad Binder emerged as the sole non-Ducati rider in the top seven.

Stay tuned with We4GP for more news.

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