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Struggling Luca Marini Sees Potential in Aleix Espargaro’s Rumored Honda Test Rider Role

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Luca Marini talks about the possibility of Aleix Espargaro joining Honda as a test rider. Marini acknowledges that having Espargaro in that role could be beneficial.

Luca Marini has faced significant challenges at Honda in 2024, having difficulty not only in competing with the majority of the MotoGP field but also in keeping up with his Honda teammates.

The ex-Ducati racer has faced challenges in getting optimal performance from his RC213V, which isn't entirely unexpected since Joan Mir, Johann Zarco, and Takaaki Nakagami have also experienced significant difficulties.

The RC213V is still the least fast motorcycle on the lineup as the team keeps searching for ways to enhance its performance.

Honda has faced significant challenges and slow advancements, leading to speculation about making a notable addition by bringing in Aleix Espargaro as a test rider.

Espargaro seems poised to sign with the Japanese company, as Aprilia suggested his departure last weekend at the Italian MotoGP event in Mugello.

Espargaro, who recently clinched victory in the sprint race held in Catalunya, could offer significant expertise due to his tenure with Aprilia, a team that currently boasts one of the top-performing motorcycles in the competition.

Eager to have Espargaro join the team, Marini recently told the Spanish media outlet AS, "I don't have any information, but if it's true, that's fantastic."

In the end, Aleix is a seasoned racer. He has spent numerous years with Aprilia and is well-acquainted with its intricacies.

"As a test rider, we are counting on him to perhaps bring along some documents or other concealed items (laughs)."

“Ultimately, while the rider can describe their feelings and provide guidance, it is the engineers who are responsible for designing and constructing the bike.”

At present, Stefan Bradl is serving as the test rider for the factory team. However, with the probable addition of Espargaro, Honda may be on the verge of a significant move towards their resurgence.

"If he becomes the test rider, it will be ideal," Marini commented. "In that scenario, I just feel bad for Stefan [Bradl], as I have a great rapport with him."

"However, there is a possibility he might remain as well, especially considering that KTM currently employs three separate test riders."

"It’s possible that both of them are our colleagues. Now that you’ve informed me, I’ll have a discussion with Honda to understand what the plans are."

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