皇冠体育投注Aleix Espargaro has revealed that a deal to join the Ducati MotoGP squad ahead of the 2015 season was “practically done” before ultimately joining Suzuki.
Espargaro had impressed in the preceding years with eye-catching performances on ART Claiming Rules Teams machinery, as well as the Forward Racing Yamaha with which he secured the Open class title in ’14.
The Spaniard snatched a maiden premier class pole at the Dutch TT, before scoring his first rostrum at the Aragon GP later in the season with second behind runaway victor Jorge Lorenzo-kick-starting talks to join a factory team for the following year.
Speaking in the Spanish MotoGP podcast, Espargaro admitted he had come close to joining current Aprilia team-mate Andrea Iannone at Ducati for ’15, but ultimately lost out as the Italian team chose to stick with the incumbent Andrea Dovizioso and signed with Suzuki instead.
“When I signed after the year with Forward Racing, when I achieved 6th in the world with the Open bike, I signed with Suzuki, but I had shaken hands with Gigi Dall’Igna three weeks before to go to Ducati, it was practically all done, and by the time Dovizioso ended up staying.
“So I went to Suzuki. At that time I had the opportunity to be in two of the most powerful factories in the championship and ended up in Suzuki.”
Espargaro also expanded upon his time at the Japanese manufacturer, believing that MotoGP’s switch from Bridgestone to Michelin ahead of his sophomore year with the brand prevented him from performing as well as he would have liked.
皇冠体育投注“I had a good year with Suzuki and the second year the reality is that the change of tyres from Bridgestone to Michelin cost me a lot, but it is not an excuse, I was not up to it: Maverick won a Grand Prix, he was much more competitive than me.
“I think I didn’t have a bad year because I did a lot of top five and top six results, but I was not at Maverick’s level, that’s the reality.”
皇冠体育投注Suzuki elected to replace Espargaro with Iannone for ’17 following a relatively lean season, leaving him to land at current outfit Aprilia.
The succeeding years have been a struggle, with a trio of sixth place results his best over three full-campaigns with the Noale-based team.