Aleix Espargaro has revealed he knew his time with Suzuki was up when they confirmed the signing of Andrea Iannone.
With Alex Rins taking the other spot available at Suzuki, Espargaro inked a deal with Aprilia for the 2017 MotoGP season.
After the announcement of Iannone joining Suzuki was made at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello last month, Espargaro admitted that he was in talks with Aprilia and Aspar Ducati during the Catalunya Grand Prix in Barcelona earlier this month.
“Yes, that’s why Mugello was a very difficult weekend for me,” Espargaro told Motorsport.com when asked if he knew that he would no longer be a Suzuki rider. “I could have had the opportunity to stay for another two years, but their strategy is to always have a young rider in the team.
“Anyway, this is racing. They have decided to go in another direction and I have to respect their decision.”
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old is hoping to finish his tenure with Suzuki by securing at least one podium finish, a feat he has failed to accomplish since joining Suzuki at the beginning of the 2015 season.
“These two seasons have been incredible,” he said. “The team is very professional, but with a family atmosphere which is hard to find in a team this size.
“Of course I am a bit sad, but given how the start of the year was a disaster, I will try to finish my time with Suzuki in the best way possible.
“To take a podium with Suzuki would be a dream, so I will continue to work my hardest.”