Trackhouse Racing officially announced that it will replace the now-defunct RNF squad on the 2024 MotoGP grid as Aprilia’s satellite team.
Aprilia Racing’s new satellite partner for the 2024 MotoGP World Championship season will be the US-based NASCAR outfit Trackhouse Racing, which will be taking the place of RNF Racing.
The team, which was initially established with the goal of competing in NASCAR, will fly the American flag and enter two Aprilia RS-GPs for Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez in 2024.
The announcement was made a little over a week after the FIM acknowledged that it had revoked RNF Racing’s and CryptoData’s primary shareholders’ entries for 2024 MotoGP.
In a statement, it cited recurrent violations and breaches of the Participation Agreement that have an impact on MotoGP’s reputation as the cause of dismissal.
This is linked to the fact that CryptoDATA, which is the title partner and majority stakeholder of RNF, failed to fulfill its Austrian Grand Prix sponsorship obligations with several of the team’s suppliers also owed funding.
Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola witnessed the launch of an Aprilia RS-GP with a patriotic livery featuring a red and white livery with blue ‘Stars and Stripes’ symbolizing the American flag.
Trackhouse Racing’s European operations will be based within Aprilia’s racing department in Noale, and their operations will be managed by former Alpinestars figures PJ Rashidi and Jeremy Appleton under the direction of team boss Justin Marks.
“It is an amazing moment for our company,” said Trackhouse Racing founder and CEO Justin Marks. “When Trackhouse was started, we wanted to be more than just a NASCAR team.
“We wanted to create something special in motorsport, that was globally relevant, had an American vibe but no borders on ideas or geographically.
“To be in this moment right now is an incredible moment for our company, really looking forward to working with Dorna and Aprilia next year.”
With Trackhouse Racing joining the fold, MotoGP has another chance to take off in North America.
Although there is a long history of American participation in Grand Prix World Championship events, the United States has not had a full-time rider in MotoGP since Nicky Hayden.
“Well, honestly…I’m a student of the game, I love all forms of motorsports, I love experiencing all the different types of motorsport events,” Marks added.
“I travelled out to the Austrian Grand Prix this summer, just to see a European MotoGP race.
“I’d never been to one before, just to see what the engagement was like, what the fan experience was like, what the action was like – and I was completely blown away. It was life-changing for me.
“So, being the entrepreneur and the business owner, I started asking questions and learning about the series from Dorna and from the different manufacturers and riders and understanding the business model.
“And on the flight home, I just couldn’t help but start thinking about what an entry in MotoGP would look like.”
As the team is aiming to become a complete Aprilia partner similar to Pramac’s relationship with Ducati or Tech3’s affiliation with the KTM group, it appears that at least one of the team’s riders will receive 2024-spec equipment next year ahead of a two-bike factory expansion scheduled for 2025.
Presumably, Dorna is more excited about Trackhouse’s contributions off the track rather than their contributions to MotoGP. The outfit joined NASCAR in 2021 after it took over Chip Ganassi Racing’s stock car operations, and since then, it has become one of the major participants both in terms of success in sports and market share.
Trackhouse Racing has so far shown to be successful at making an impression by reaching out to new audiences through collaborations with individuals like global music icon Pitbull, one of the team’s primary partners.
The outfit has also made great progress by managing creative projects like Project91, which is a part-time grid spot intended to bring international racing drivers to NASCAR.