MotoGP: Suzuki targets Espargaro for 2015

MotoGP: Suzuki targets Espargaro for 2015

Published Aug. 7, 2014 4:08 p.m. ET

Spanish rider Aleix Espargaro is targeting a deal that will make him a factory Suzuki rider for the 2015 MotoGP season.

Suzuki is now the only factory squad yet to confirm riders for next season following the predictable confirmation that Jorge Lorenzo was signing on at Yamaha for two more years.

In advance of Sunday's Indianapolis Grand Prix, Espargaro has confirmed his Suzuki intentions.

He has dominated the Open class this year riding a Forward Yamaha that is virtually a 2013 factory M1 and his sole focus is gaining a factory ride next year.


"Everybody knows my priority is to join Suzuki next year but it is not fixed yet ... I hope it will be done in the next weeks," Espargaro said.

"Before Germany I had a couple of good options [for 2015] and we decided to think about those options during the summer break.

"The last week we decided just to keep working with Suzuki."

Forward Racing have already signed German rider Stefan Bradl for next year with Cal Crutchlow taking his place at LCR Honda.

The Bradl move to Forward is a sure sign that Espargaro is closing in on a Suzuki deal part of which involves negotiating a pay-out clause in his Forward contract.

Moto2 race winner Maverick Vinales is tipped to join Espargaro at Suzuki.

For their MotoGP return next season Suzuki will, like Ducati, enjoy the benefits of the Open class rules and extra fuel allocation.

There has been no change in the factory rider line-ups at Yamaha (Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi) and Honda (Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa) following the completion of two year deals thru 2016 for all four riders.