Aleix Espargaro To Join Honda as a Test Rider in 2025

Aleix Espargaro has been signed by Honda as a Test Rider for 2025 following the Spaniard’s retirement from racing.

Honda have struggled over recent years with performance, one of the most common theories being that the Japanese manufacturer was unwilling to develop their bike without Marc Marquez’s guidance after his injury in 2020, which saw the 8-Time World Champion compete in just eight races across the 2020 and 2021 season.

With an absent Marquez, Honda struggled to move forward with their machinery, the consequences of these decisions are now being seen currently, with most of the Honda riders consistently running outside the points. Despite signing VR46 rider Luca Marini for the 2024 season, a move by Marini that showed some potential with his knowledge of the Ducati and underperforming machinery, with a year old spec that VR46 run – but so far in 2024, Marini has not been able to finish inside the Top 15 in either a Sprint Race or Grand Prix.

Attempting to solve their issues, they also signed Johann Zarco for the LCR Honda satellite team. A trusted and experienced rider in Zarco has proved useful, the Frenchman scoring points at the season opener in Qatar, Portugal, France and most recently at Assen for the Dutch GP.


Therefore, with Espargaro joining Honda as their test rider, they have a trusted, experienced and versatile rider who has won Grands Prix before, and has recently scored many podiums and victories with Aprilia. At Aprilia, Espargaro joined their project for the 2017 season, and despite some tough races and season-long disappointments, the Spaniard has stuck by them and transformed the team into a frequent challenger to Ducati, occasionally managing to get race wins.

Honda saw the departure of Marc Marquez at the end of 2023, a clear turning point for the Japanese manufacturer who held developments for Marquez, as now Honda are on the hunt to acquire some talent in the MotoGP paddock. With Espargaro announcing his retirement from racing at the end of 2024, a test rider role suits both him and the manufacturer, a similar role to Cal Crutchlow’s at Yamaha and Dani Pedrosa’s at KTM.

Only time will tell if Espargaro will be successful in assisting Honda back to the front of the field, however with title sponsor Repsol leaving Honda at the end of this season, one of the longest partnerships in MotoGP history, Honda will be wanting a quick turnaround of performance as rumours were suggesting a departure from MotoGP altogether before the new technical regulations in 2027. If Honda were to leave MotoGP, it would be a major and almost unreplaceable loss to the MotoGP paddock.

Featured image – Aprilia