Aprilia Has "No Intention" Of Entering MotoGP, Says CEO

Ever since the announcement by the Grand Prix Commission that MotoGP would be going back to 1000cc, a low-intensity battle has been going on between the World Superbike and MotoGP series, with WSBK accusing MotoGP of encroaching on its territory. That encroachment is more imaginary than real, but the criticism masks a fundamental fear on the part of Infront Motor Sports, the company which runs World Superbikes.

For the main difference between WSBK and MotoGP is the wealth of manufacturers which have chosen to enter the World Superbike series. WSBK has seven to MotoGP's four, and one of those four is hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Infront's greatest fear is that the manufacturers currently competing in World Superbikes - and especically BMW and Aprilia - will switch their focus from WSBK to MotoGP, pouring money into the new 1000cc MotoGP formula taken from their WSBK budgets. Given the rumors concerning potential interest from Aprilia, and BMW being linked to the Suter CRT bike for 2012, those fears would appear to be justified.

But Aprilia CEO Roberto Colaninno sought to defuse those fears today. At a presentation held in front of financial analysts, Colaninno was asked if Aprilia had any plans to return to MotoGP. "At this moment, we have no intention of doing that," the Piaggio Group boss responded. Given Aprilia's last venture into MotoGP with the RS3 Cube turned out so badly, this is hardly a surprise.

However, persistent rumors rumors in the paddock claimed that Aprilia's RSV4 World Superbike was merely a proving ground for the MotoGP bike they were building, an impression strengthened by a continuous string of complaints against Aprilia's WSBK bike claiming that it was more prototype than street bike. Colaninno's statement will help counter those rumors, but the decisive factor in Aprilia choosing to enter MotoGP formally will eventually come down to cost. The current formula remains prohibitively expensive for new entries into the MotoGP paddock, as witnessed by the thin numbers on the grid. Unless a radical shakeup is introduced in conjunction with the switch 1000cc, the bar is likely to remain very high to new factory entries, with MotoGP only really attractive to the Claiming Rule Teams, who will have more engines and more fuel to battle the factories with. As a major motorcycle manufacturer, Aprilia is unlikely to qualify as a CRT team.

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Comments

A Piaggio exec says one thing, expect the opposite. Then again, his statement of 'at this time' is pretty vague.

I'd think they'd follow Ducati's lead and know that In Front will be able to be 'persuaded' into making special rules for Italian factories. I think Ducati just didn't like the competition from Aprilia having that privilege and that's why they left. If the rift between GPs and production bike racing persists in two years, Ducati may be back in 2013 to dominate with a 2014 model bike which will bare little resemblance to the sales floor model that follows. One year of unfairly advantaged domination will be worth it.

I was actually banking on Aprilia entering GP in 2012. Objectively,I can't blame them for putting it on ice at present. Perhaps they're playing a waiting game.
Wait until GP folds as a viable premier class based on TV viewership and then re wright in conjunction with Japanese and European manufacturers the whole scenario for 2012.
About mid season 2011,when GP is down to 3 or 4 podium regulars within an average grid of 8 competitive machines and riders coupled to another 8 making up numbers.Sad state of affairs.

MotoGP isn't going anywhere. They have been, and will be, around for many years. Too many stake holders have a lot of money invested and won't let it go away.

They have a unique/special issue with the manufacturers because this is tauted as a manufacturer development series. Even so, the manufacturers have to concede a bit to improve the product.

The problem is, the manufacturers currently enjoy pretty much exclusive control over the sponsors because they can ensure the satellite teams will (normally) finish behind them. This is the part that the track owners, FIM, Dorna and the non-factory teams must force to change.

Is this not a commercially available motorcycle with lights and a horn? Who is bleating anyway - the Japanese? because Aprilia had built a better 4 cylinder than them? Did the oppostion whinge about an 'unfair' motorcycle when the GSXR came out in 1984? No, their jaws simply dropped.

I say congratulations to Aprilia for what they have achieved with a small and determined team. I believe they'll be back in MotoGP if finances allow it. Their DNA is G.P.

As for special rules for Italian teams Brookespeed - what's that nonsense all about? A twin needs a capacity advantage over a four to compete on horsepower - this is physics, and all in the greater good of the show. The weight advantage of years gone by has turned into a disadvantage - albeit minute now.

They have made a wonderful machine. With or without special parts that would be illegal under next years rules.

But I understand that twins don't make as much horsepower, but if they want more horsepower, they shouldn't make twins. The rulebook for a series was contrived around a manufacturing tradition of a single manufacturer rather than blind limits.

Agree 100%. All this waffle about the RSV4 (and to a lesser extent the BMW) being a "prototype" - what a load of sour grapes. The Foggy Petronas was far more of a prototype, and yet still a failure. I can go buy an RSV4 if I feel like it. It will look as much like the race bike as any 1098, CBR, GSXR et al.

I think Aprilia has been extremely hard done by in recent times. They have won numerous world championships in 125 & 250, and they competed at a reasonable level in both 500 and MotoGP, and yet they seem to have absolutely no voice in GP racing. Classes they dominated have been, and are being, eliminated. Mentions of Aprilia in the dreaded MSMA are strangely absent.

So they take their bat and ball and go play in the wsbk sandpit, and build a superb bike to boot, and everyone bleats about it being a prototype? Sure, the gear drive cams are very much stretching the rules, but nothing Kawasaki etc have not done before.

I think Aprilia, in spite of all they have achieved in racing in the last 10-15 years, are still being treated very much as the poor cousin b ythe Honda/Yamaha/Ducati oligarchy.