until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


‘I prefer to make mistakes then say sorry’ – Espargaro interview

by Simon Patterson
5 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Even before he became a surprise MotoGP title contender in 2022, Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro has always been one of the most controversial characters in the championship.

That’s thanks in large part to his outspoken nature and his honesty when speaking to the media – a truthfulness that often causes him problems given the way in which he wears his heart on his sleeve.

But, speaking exclusively to The Race as he headed into the five-week summer break only 21 points behind friend and rival Fabio Quartararo in the title chase, Espargaro put some of his newfound strength in 2022 to the fact that he says what he feels rather than acting like someone he’s not both on and off the bike, even if on occasion he’s got himself into trouble with some over-vigorous arm-waving antics.

“I think it makes me more happy,” he admitted of his lack of fear at expressing himself both on and off the track.

“So it means that maybe my career has been better because if you are happy everything is better.

“I have the feeling inside of myself that I need to express what I feel.

“If I’m not expressing what I feel, I’m not good with myself. I’m not hypocritical so I need to say what I feel.

“Sometimes it’s a mistake. When I blamed [Marc] Marquez for what he did [in their Jerez row earlier this year], it was a mistake. I did many times in the past more than him, 10,000 times more than him, but at that right moment, at that time, I feel that I had to say that, and I say it.

“I’m not afraid to make mistakes and then to say, ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake’, because this is part of life.

“And the people who never say anything never have to say, ‘Sorry, I made a mistake,’ but I prefer to make mistakes and then apologise.”

While there might be others who feel similar to him in terms of important issues like rider safety, it’s fair to say that overall his occasional theatrics are a uniquely Aleix Espargaro trait.

While it might make for good TV if there were a few more like him on track every weekend, he’s also aware that not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve quite like him.

“I will never say how they need to act,” he insisted of his rivals.

“Everybody need to act how they feel. If they are not acting how they are, then it’s a mistake, 100%.

“Maybe they are acting like this because they are like this but the feeling that I have is that you cannot use a mask.


“You need to be yourself. And now, my feeling is that we want to try to like everybody, and this is impossible. Just like Rafa Nadal, and it’s impossible to be like him. So at the end you need to be how you are.

He might not want to tell his rivals how to conduct themselves, but Espargaro also has some advice for the junior ranks in particular.

“This is a problem that we have,” said the 32-year-old, who is now in his 18th season of grand prix racing and 12th in MotoGP.


“I mean, many times when I’m watching the TV – for example, [David] Munoz I think was the rider to finish in the podium in Moto3 in Barcelona for the first time, his interview was very boring. ‘Yeah, happy, thank you to my team, thank you…’

“Relax. Say what you want to say. Say thanks to your best friend, or say to your grandma or whatever you want to say. But if you look like you have to be super, super politically correct, life is very boring like that.”

Espargaro believes that his single greatest mistake of 2022 so far – and perhaps of his entire career – was due to doing the exact opposite and not following his own advice to relax.

Going into the Catalan Grand Prix last month as the home hero, the polesitter and the pre-race favourite, he got it all wrong thanks to putting himself under too much pressure.

While the most spectacular element was losing out on a podium place because he thought the race had ended one lap before the chequered flag actually came out, he had already lost a chance to win by that point – thanks, he believes, to the whole way he had approached the weekend.

“Barcelona was a very difficult weekend for me,” he admitted of his home race.

“I felt a lot, a lot, a lot of pressure because everybody was cheering for me, all the Catalans, the Spanish fans. Without Marc [Marquez], they were cheering myself and putting me as a winner, so it was a very demanding weekend.

“I was maybe too focused, I was maybe too serious during the weekend. I said after the pole position I didn’t really enjoy the qualifying. I didn’t enjoy qualifying and I did the pole position.


“In the race, I also started too conservative, trying to save tyres to win.

“In another circuit when Fabio attacks me in corner one I will attack him again, I will fight with him.

“But in Barcelona I was obsessed with the victory so I saved a lot of tyre and then I lost the race. At the end, second place was the best I could achieve.

“So Barcelona was the proof that you have to relax a little bit, you have to enjoy more the moment, and I was too, too focused. This is why I didn’t even see the chequered flag, because I was too focused.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks