According to information from Motorsport.com, Aleix Espargaro is set to become Honda’s official MotoGP test rider in 2025 following his retirement from professional racing. Espargaro, who will conclude his active racing career at the end of the 2024 season, has been racing in the premier class since 2012, making him the longest-serving full-time rider active until his retirement.

During his career, Espargaro notched up three premier class victories, all achieved with Aprilia. His win in Argentina 2022 also gave Aprillia’s maiden premier class win. Despite these successes, he has opted not to continue his association with the Italian brand beyond 2024.

Since his move to Aprilia in 2017, Espargaro played a pivotal role in transforming the team’s fortunes. His initial years were fraught with challenges, but by 2021, Aprilia emerged as a consistent threat for race victories, marking a significant turnaround in their competitive status.

Honda, currently experiencing a severe performance drought, is reportedly nearing a deal to secure Espargaro’s services as a test rider. This appointment is seen as critical for Honda as it seeks to leverage Espargaro’s vast development experience to revive its competitiveness in the sport. How this affects the current Honda test rider, Stefan Bradl, is still to be determined.

Prior to his tenure with Aprilia, Espargaro was crucial in developing Suzuki’s GSX-RR, turning it into a competitive race-winning motorcycle, which gave Maverick Vinales’ first MotoGP victory in 2016 with the Japanese manufacturer  His proven ability to elevate the performance of the bikes he works with has been a hallmark of his career, a trait Honda is eager to capitalize on.

Honda’s recent struggles in MotoGP have been pronounced, with the team finishing last in the manufacturers’ standings for the past two years and losing Marc Marquez to the Gresini Ducati team due to ongoing performance setbacks. The team’s performance woes continued at the recent Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, where none of their bikes finished in the points, the highest placement being Johann Zarco in 19th position.

Espargaro’s impending role at Honda is viewed with optimism, as his extensive experience and skill in motorcycle development are anticipated to play a crucial role in addressing Honda’s technical and competitive problems that they face with the RC213V.

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