Italian manufacturer moves MotoGP plans one year ahead of schedule
MotoGP will have two new factory bikes on the grid in 2015 with Aprilia announcing that it will re-enter the MotoGP class next year with Gresini Racing being revealed as the team who will partner the Italian manufacturer.
I would like to thank the Piaggio Group for giving me a fantastic opportunity, that is working closely with such a glorious manufacturer.
The news came in the middle of the first day of practice ahead of this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix with both Aprilia and Gresini Racing making simultaneous announcements. Team boss Fausto Gresini was thrilled in making the announcement and is proud to be partnering the Italian marque.
“I am very glad that Aprilia identified Gresini Racing as the ideal partner to enter the MotoGP World Championship,” said Gresini who continued, “I would like to thank the Piaggio Group for giving me a fantastic opportunity, that is working closely with such a glorious manufacturer; an Italian brand that has become a synonymous of passion for racing, reaching amazing results worldwide. The four years agreement between Gresini Racing and Aprilia opens a new chapter in our history: in this moment I feel a great responsibility, but the motivation to succeed in this exciting, all Italian challenge is even bigger.
The Grand Prix world is part of the Aprilia brand and to represent it in the premier class, the MotoGP World Championship, is a source of great pride for all of us. An incredible reward for the work done in all these years by Gresini Racing,” Gresini added.
Meanwhile, the Piaggio Group (Aprilia owners) Group's Chairman and CEO, Roberto Colaninno is confident about the team’s abilities despite fast tracking its place by a full season. He said, “We decided to make our début a year earlier than planned because Aprilia Racing's technical and competitive skills are absolutely top notch. Growth in Superbike has been exemplary in this direction from our rookie year in 2009 to the five world titles we've won so far with the RSV4”.
“Piaggio Group has been managing Aprilia since 2005 and in less than ten years Aprilia won 26 of the 52 world titles earned in the entire brand history. In addition to these there are also four more titles: Marco Simoncelli's 250 world championship with Gilera and three 125 class world championships won by Derbi, which is also part of the Piaggio Group and which took a very young Marc Marquez to his first world title win,” Mr Colaninno added.
World Class Pedigree
Aprilia boasts 294 wins and 38 championship titles in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing championship (19 Manufacturer and 19 Rider). Their last foray into the premier class came in 2002 with the technically advanced RS Cube that featured pneumatic valves, a ride by wire throttle and at the time some of the most advanced electronics in the racing world. The bike proved untamable for riders Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga and the project shelved in 2004. Fast forward 10 years and Apriila is once again planning on a technically advanced machine with it’s own seamless shift gearbox design and electronics package.
Gresini Racing has been in Grand Prix motorcycle racing since 1997 and achieving two titles - 2001 with Daijiro Kato (250cc) and 2010 with Toni Elias (Moto2), while Sete Gibernau finished second in the MotoGP championship in 2003 and 2004 while Marco Melandri also finished runner up for the Gresini team in 2005.