Aprilia have announced their intention to return to the premier class for the 2016 season and motogp.com caught up with Albesiano Romano, Sporting Managing Director of the Italian brand, to get some pointers on their MotoGP plans.
Is your company’s involvement in the Superbike World Championship closely linked to your MotoGP plans?
Very much so. Our ‘Open’ bike is closely linked to the Superbike machine, so I would say that there is a good 90% crossover.
Do you plan some wildcard appearances in 2015?
I would not rule that out. To be able to compete at a high level in 2016, which is our goal, we are developing a completely new project. So, I would not rule out a few appearances in the second half of the 2015 season.
How much has Aprilia changed in the last few years since your participation in MotoGP and what has changed to entice you back to the premier class?
Things have changed substantially because previously this was an independent company and now its part of a multinational, the Piaggio Group. Today we have the industrial and financial stability to participate in a sport as important and challenging as MotoGP. Also, the MotoGP World Championship has changed a lot in recent years and our interest in returning is due to MotoGP indisputably being the most prestigious showcase for us to be. We say that without detracting from Superbikes, which has different aspects relating to promoting our product.
Is there any possibility of Aprilia going back into Moto2™ and Moto3™ too?
At the moment it is not in our plans.
Is your test schedule for 2015 already in place and if so which riders will you work with?
Currently we are supplying material to the IodaRacing Project with their rider Danilo Petrucci, and for us it is very important to have a presence in MotoGP because it allows us to participate in technical development. We can closely follow the evolution of the electronics and tyres for example, all of those elements are fundamental for us. We hope to start ‘true’ testing in MotoGP in the spring of 2015. The riders are yet to be confirmed, but we have plenty of options.Aprilia, MotoGP