If the right deal comes up, Aprilia says it will equip a satellite team for the 2023 MotoGP season.
Italian bike manufacturer, Aprilia, has revealed it is open to supply a satellite team for 2023 MotoGP. The outfit is one of just two brands without a satellite structure on the current grid, with Suzuki fielding only two factory motorcycles.
Honda has four bikes in its factory team and LCR; Yamaha has four M1s in its factory team and RNF Racing; KTM has its own factory squad and supplies Tech3 with two bikes; while Ducati has eight bikes in its factory team, Pramac, Gresini, and VR46 garages.
The number of bikes on the grid is still limited to 24, thus Aprilia would have to team up with one of the paddock’s current satellite teams.
Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola told Motorsport.com on the eve of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix that the marque was open to expanding its presence on the grid from 2023 if the proper offer was made.
“If we received interesting offers that can make the project grow, we will evaluate it,” Rivola said.
With the exception of RNF Racing, most manufacturers with satellite operations have agreements in place that stretch beyond 2022.
RNF Racing arose from the ashes of the Petronas Sepang Racing Team, which announced its retirement from MotoGP at the end of 2016 season when title sponsor Petronas decided to sever its relationship with the team.
Razlan Razali, the team’s owner, formed RNF Racing out of the defunct SRT and negotiated a new contract with Yamaha. However, that was only for a year — supposedly due to new company trading laws, as RNF was only formed last autumn, only weeks before the squad was publicly unveiled.
If Yamaha decides not to continue with RNF, the team might potentially become Aprilia’s satellite team.
Aprilia also announced that Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro would be returning to the factory team in 2023.
Last time out in America, the latter – who won Aprilia’s first MotoGP race in the modern era in Argentina – said his first offer from the team left him “sad” because the two parties couldn’t agree on terms.