Oliveira : “Aleix’s Riding Style is Working Well, Despite Being Completely Different”

Spread the love

Aleix Espargaro’s traditional riding style has seamlessly complemented the cutting-edge, aerodynamically advanced Aprilia RS-GP.

An intriguing synergy in MotoGP this season is the seamless fit between Aleix Espargaro’s classic ‘body-on-the-bike’ riding technique and the state-of-the-art aerodynamics of the 2024 Aprilia RS-GP.

From the outset, Espargaro showcased impressive speed on the bike. However, his factory teammate Maverick Vinales and Trackhouse rider Miguel Oliveira, both established MotoGP race winners known for their modern body-down cornering style on other machines, faced a more challenging adaptation process.

In a bid to adjust, both Vinales and Oliveira even reverted to a more conventional rear seat aero setup, while Espargaro continued with the radical ‘batmobile’ design.

During the season-opening event in Qatar, Espargaro secured an impressive second-place qualifying position, followed by a podium finish in the Sprint race with a remarkable late surge.

This performance elevated him as a frontrunner for the full-length Grand Prix, only to encounter unexpected grip issues. Nonetheless, Espargaro maintained his position as the top-performing Aprilia rider, finishing in eighth place.



One hypothesis is that by maintaining closer proximity to the bike, Espargaro optimizes airflow efficiency for aerodynamics during cornering.

However, last year, the veteran Spaniard, aged 34 and the most experienced rider on the grid, suggested that his riding style—described as “not beautiful, but effective!”—also provides advantages in acceleration.

“We extensively analyze at Aprilia… On right-hand corners, I hug the bike more than on left-hand ones. Interestingly, when the circuit layout favors right-hand corners, I’m quicker! Conversely, on tracks with predominantly left-hand corners, such as America, my pace tends to be slower,” Espargaro elaborated.

“So in the right corners, I lean [my body] less, but surprisingly, it seems to work well with this bike. My focus is on optimizing acceleration, so excessive leaning isn’t necessary.”

“When you analyze Raul [Fernandez]’s riding style, I admire it,” Espargaro remarked about Oliveira’s teammate, known for his extreme body positioning. “However, at times, because he leans so much, when he hits the throttle, he experiences significant wheel spin.”

“So yes, my style may not be the prettiest, but it gets the job done!”

Espargaro remains the sole rider to secure victories on an RS-GP, triumphing at Termas de Rio Hondo in 2022, followed by wins at Silverstone and Barcelona in 2023.



Oliveira confirmed that Espargaro’s performance is currently the most notable among the Aprilia riders, attributing it to his distinct riding style. Unlike the other riders, Espargaro’s taller stature by 10cm means that merely copying his style isn’t the solution. Instead, the team aims to grasp why his approach works and tweak the bike setup accordingly.

“Aleix stands out the most among us. His riding style is completely different, but it’s effective,” Oliveira explained during the Qatar weekend. “So as a team, we need to figure out how to optimize the bike for our individual styles.”

He described Espargaro’s style, saying, “[Aleix] maintains a significant lean angle, with his body very stable on the bike. He doesn’t aggressively pick up the bike on throttle to accelerate out of corners. Even in braking zones, the bike remains stable, without sliding. This is his style.”

“For him, it’s natural, especially with this new bike,” Oliveira added. “I’ve tried to adapt, but I can’t change my height! Everyone has their unique way of riding. You can make adjustments to your style, but there’s a limit to how much you can change.”

Oliveira, who finished 13th in Qatar after a long lap penalty carried over from 2023, will be back on his factory RS-GP at Portimao this weekend, eager to perform for his home fans.

Stay tuned with We4GP for more news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *