Espargaro urges Aprilia to retain Redding for 2019

Aprilia MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro wants the Italian manufacturer to retain the struggling Scott Redding as his teammate for next year.

Espargaro urges Aprilia to retain Redding for 2019
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing
Second place Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing
Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Redding joined Aprilia this year in place of Sam Lowes, who was dropped after just one season with the team amid a lack of results.

So far, Redding has been having a similarly tough time, and Aprilia has been weighing up its options to replace the 25-year-old for 2019.

Espargaro expressed his sympathy for Redding, saying the RS-GP is "not an easy bike", and urged Aprilia to renew the Briton's contract to give the team stability.

"I hope that Scott can find the way," said Espargaro at Le Mans. "I really would like to have him as teammate next season.

"I don't like the changes, for the team the stability is good in all areas, but he needs to find the pace.

"I feel very bad [for him]. I didn't talk with Scott a lot before he arrived in Aprilia in the last four years and I found when he arrived a different guy than what I expect, more human, more close guy.

"In the last races we talk a little bit, [on Saturday] I sit with him when he was in his debrief. It is impossible that I can help him but at least to talk with him, trying to explain my thoughts, trying to give some info.

"He has all my information but the Aprilia is not an easy bike. Everything has to be perfect because we have a little bit less power than them [rival manufacturers], the bike is a little bit heavier."

Suzuki's Andrea Iannone is among the candidates to replace Redding, as is Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci - who has admitted he has an offer to join Espargaro next season.

On-track incidents between Petrucci and Espargaro led to conflicts between the two, but the Spaniard said he would welcome Petrucci regardless.

"I have some problems with him in the past, actually he made me crash two or three times in the last four years so is not really good," he said.

"The good thing to have him as a teammate is that I think he would respect me a little bit more.

"I really would like that my teammate is a really strong one and Danilo today [at Le Mans] made a podium with the Ducati, so he is welcome and I will try to beat him."

Additional reporting by Jamie Klein

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