Yamaha were in talks to recruit Aleix Espargaro as a test rider

Aleix Espargaro reportedly turned down Yamaha’s advances to be their test rider.

The veteran MotoGP rider has confirmed he will retire at this end of this year.

Although he left the door open to a different role, when announcing his retirement, he revealed it would probably not be with Aprilia.

Now, Marca report that Honda will snap up Espargaro’s services for 2025.

Honda beat off major interest in Espargaro from Yamaha.

In fact, Yamaha reportedly “put in the most interest” to snap him up.

Espargaro and his agent Albert Valera negotiated with Yamaha but his fee demands were too big, and prevented a deal happening, Speedweek report.

However, it is now Honda who won the battle for Espargaro.

For the struggling Japanese manufacturer, it is a major coup to be able to rely upon a test rider with such recent and relevant experience.

Espargaro won the sprint race in Barcelona just 48 hours after announcing he would retire after this season.

He is a key cog in Aprilia’s rise to become the closest contenders to the dominant Ducatis.

And while he will leave his coveted bike to Jorge Martin next season, he will take on a different and tougher challenge.

Honda’s MotoGP project remains at a low ebb, even a year after Marc Marquez opted to leave.

Marquez’s replacement Luca Marini is rooted to the back of the grid, and is the only full-time rider without a single point this year.

Honda recruited Marini and Johann Zarco, another experienced brain, this year but the addition of Espargaro should, they hope, hasten their development.

Aprilia will continue using Lorenzo Savadori as their 2025 test rider.

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