On the 30th anniversary of their first world title, Aprilia Racing is finally on the grid as a factory team.
Massimo Rivola: "A huge responsibility but also added motivation"
Romano Albesiano: "The new RS-GP is the profound evolution of an already outstanding project"
The year 2022 marks an important time for Aprilia Racing in its young MotoGP history. In fact, the Italian team gains Factory Team status, yet another step forward in a growth trend that has been clear over the last two seasons, culminating in the podium at Silverstone last year, a result that Aprilia had never before achieved in its history in MotoGP.
At the end of the 2021 season, Aleix Espargaró finished eighth in the overall championship standings, moving up nine positions and tripling the points he had earned in the previous seasons. This is a great result which is only the starting point for the 2022 evolution, a season where Aprilia will be on the grid with a profoundly revamped RS-GP with respect to what has proven to be a good technical base. Not only the results, but more than anything else, the gap behind the best riders (never before so consistently low in the brand’s history), convinced the racing department engineers to focus their work on all areas of performance. Without revolutionising, but with the innovative ability that has always made Aprilia’s efforts stand out in racing.
Taking the new RS-GP machines onto the track will be a line-up of extremely high-level riders. Riding alongside the ultra-confirmed "team captain" Aleix Espargaró will be Maverick Viñales, the newest member of the Aprilia family. Carrying out the dual role of tester and wild-card rider will be Lorenzo Savadori, the young rider who has demonstrated consistent progress since his début in an extremely demanding category.
"I can't wait to get back on the track with my team. After many years together, they are no longer just mechs and techs. They are truly part of my family and, from that point of view, the winter break always seems too long. I'm extremely pumped up. The years may pass, but I am still just as hungry as I was when I began and I'm at the top of my game physically. For the first tests, I chose a helmet with graphics dedicated to all Aprilia’s fist podiums in the various classes, including the one we earned together at Silverstone. It seems like the right way to kick off the season and pay tribute to this brand’s great racing heritage. The goal is obviously to add more images to this gallery."
"From my first moment on this team, I realised that I had been chosen for a purpose - to take Aprilia to the top of modern MotoGP. This is the goal we are all working towards. I don’t think it’s fair to make predictions. I prefer focusing on the job at hand and on preparing because I believe that results are a direct consequence of our efforts. We had the great opportunity of getting to know one another ahead of time, doing a few races together and beginning to understand our reciprocal needs. We’ll need to exploit this advantage as much as possible. I am highly satisfied with the job the racing department did over the winter and now all that’s left is to show our progress on the track."
"The role of tester, also considering the fact that I’ll do some wild card races, is extremely important in MotoGP. Everyone at Aprilia is working hard to improve the RS-GP even more. We are competing in a category where continued investments of time, resources, and efforts is indispensable. The overall level of our rivals is extremely high, but we are growing and we need to continue this trend. I’ve been part of this project since 2020 and I have grown along with the RS-GP, a bike that has consistently and progressively improved, and I'm confident that it will take another step forward in this new season."
"This is an important season. We are coming into MotoGP as a Factory Team precisely on the thirtieth anniversary of Aprilia’s first World Championship GP Motorcycle Racing title, won with Alex Gramigni. This is a great responsibility, but also an injection of extra motivation. The racing department is now a group of highly skilled individuals who work extremely well together and with a strong Italian footprint that we are extremely proud of. We are working well and the competitiveness we demonstrated last year must be just the starting points. The ’21 season was a good one, but we need to forget about it straight away and look forward. In my opinion, the 2022 RS-GP will be the most beautiful bike on the grid and I hope that it will also be one of the fastest. I think we have done some significant work, certain of the direction we have taken. We have three top-level riders: the "team captain" Aleix and a great champion like Maverick who we are getting to know better and better every day. Lorenzo will be our test rider. In spite of a season conditioned by injuries, he demonstrated significant growth and he will be a big help in developing the project."
"The 2022 RS-GP 2022 is a profound evolution of the outstanding base used in 2021. We focused on the main performance areas. The engine has undergone significant internal changes, maintaining the previous layout. The aerodynamics are constantly evolving and the chassis architecture and software areas have been revamped with the goal of improving important aspects such as braking, acceleration and the starting strategy. We have three riders with very different characteristics, both physically and in terms of riding style, and that means that we are able to develop a bike which is effective in a wider range of needs. In recent years, we have seen an uptick in performance, including our own, which is why we worked particularly hard during the winter break. I'm confident that we will have good cards to play in the 2022 championship season."