Sparks flew between the two Aprilia riders, Aleix Espargarò and Andrea Iannone, before the tests in Qatar. Commenting on the progress of the new bike from Noale, the Italian rider had declared that it was designed following his instructions. Words that the Spanish rider didn't like much and that struck a cord.
“Andrea likes to be the center of attention. It was a lack of respect not only towards me but for the whole team. What he said is not true," was Aleix 's response.
Now that a few weeks have passed, things seem to have cooled down in Aprilia and both riders have drawn a line in the sand, wanting to put the past behind them.
Starting from Aleix, who was interviewed by Sky Sport: “I was sorry when Andrea said those things, because I've always defended him. We have a good relationship. I spoke with him the day after. He explained that he didn't express himself well, that we would talk about it again, and I told him that was fine. I don't want to have a negative relationship with my teammate. It's very important to have a good mood in the garage."
Espargarò also remarked how important Iannone's presence is in Aprilia.
“My goal isn't to try and destroy my teammate," he continued. "I feel that I need Andrea to fight for the podium, because he's a strong rider who'll help me in developing the bike. He'll help me to be badder, faster, and stronger."
To do so, he'll have to wait for the championship to start, even if no one yet knows when that will be. However, the Spanish rider is sure of one thing: “It'll be a spectacular season. Suzuki has grown a lot. Yamaha has created a dream team. The revelation of the year will be Mir, but I'm also counting a lot on myself and on Aprilia. We deserve a good year. We've worked a lot," he confirmed.