The #41 has announced he will hang up his leathers at the end of the season to bring an end to a career that spans nearly two decades.

In a special Press Conference at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) has announced that he will retire from Grand Prix racing at the end of 2024. The #41 has competed in more than 300 Grands Prix over a career spanning nearly two decades, building a lasting legacy that includes taking Aprilia’s first ever premier class win.

Espargaro said: “First thing, thank you, everyone, for coming, it’s amazing to see all of you here. As you can imagine, at the end of this season I will retire from being a full-time MotoGP™ rider. It’s been a nice journey, I’ve enjoyed it a lot, thank you everybody.

“This is a special place, where I began riding, and where last year was a dream come true to me, so it’s the perfect place to announce that I will retire from being a full-time rider. My trajectory has been quite different, like for all riders, it’s not easy and nobody gives you anything for free, but mine has been really very strange. No one, not even a Hollywood movie, could have thought that at 30 years old, I could win races and take podiums with a brand that hadn’t done it before. So, I’m very happy and proud, it’s never enough but I’m very proud of how far I’ve come. The kid who made his debut here many years ago would be very happy.

“I’ve always made a lot of mistakes in life because I do everything from the heart and not from the head, but that’s how I am. My head says I can continue racing and be fast on a grid of riders who are the best in history, and I feel competitive and physically good, but my heart is asking me to stop. To spend more time at home, and be with my wife and kids, so that’s why I’ve decided to step aside and enjoy life in a more relaxed way.

“More than anything, I want to thank Aprilia. These last two or three years have been a dream with everything we’ve achieved since I arrived with Romano, Massimo and Paolo. We made history and I’ll be eternally grateful for everything they’ve given me, and everything I’ve been able to give to them. I want

to thank Carmelo and Carlos because I’ve grown up here, this has been my life, my school, everything. For my kids too.

“I want to thank my family, my brother, who has always been my point of reference. And to all my personal team: Albert Valera, without whom my sporting life would never have been like this and who is now such a part of my life, and to my wife Laura. And thanks to all the riders in the paddock. I’ve tried to do everything as well as I know how, and I’m very happy. Thank you all.

“There are many riders in the world, in this space today who won more than me, but I gave everything I had and worked very, very hard. Many times, I felt maybe I didn’t have the talent of other riders but by working hard I reached quite a high level. And once again with Aprilia seeing all these memories of the last two or three seasons, it’s amazing. I was dreaming, and that’s one of the reasons I decided to stop. It’s enough, I already had so much fun, and I want to retire from being a full-time rider with a good feeling. It’s not been an easy week, I felt sometimes I was jumping into a strange space, but I’m really happy.”

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