MotoGP

Aprilia open to supplying MotoGP satellite team in 2023

The Italian manufacturer is one of only two brands on the current grid without a satellite structure, with Suzuki also only fielding its two factory bikes.

Currently, Honda fields four bikes across its factory squad and LCR; Yamaha fields four M1s across its factory team and RNF Racing; KTM has its own factory squad and supplies Tech3 with two bikes, while Ducati has eight machines occupying the garages of its factory team, Pramac, Gresini and VR46.

The number of bikes on the grid remains capped at 24, meaning Aprilia would have to join forces with one of the current satellite squads in the paddock.

Speaking exclusively to Autosport on the eve of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola said the marque was open to expanding its presence on the grid from 2023 if the right offer is there.

“If we received interesting offers that can make the project grow, we will evaluate it,” Rivola said.

Most manufacturers with satellite operations have deals in place that extend beyond 2022, apart from RNF Racing.

Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing

Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

RNF Racing was born out of the ashes of Petronas Sepang Racing Team, which elected to quit MotoGP at the end of last season following title sponsor Petronas’s decision to end its association with the outfit.

Team boss Razlan Razali set up RNF Racing out of the old SRT entity and signed a new deal with Yamaha.

However, that agreement was only for one year – allegedly due to trading rules for new companies, with RNF only set up last autumn, just weeks before the team was officially announced.

Should Yamaha decide against continuing with RNF, it could feasibly become Aprilia’s satellite squad.

Aprilia also confirmed to Autosport that its intention was to re-sign both Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro to its factory squad for 2023.

The latter – who scored Aprilia’s first modern MotoGP era victory in Argentina – revealed last time out in America that his first offer from the team made him “sad” as both parties were far apart on agreeable terms.

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