The V4-engined Aprilia RS-GP will be up against heavy hitters like the Yamaha YZR-M1 and Honda RC213V
Aprilia will be back in MotoGP this year and the Italian company fully understands how big a challenge that's going to be. While the RSV4 has done very well in World Superbikes in recent years, MotoGP is going to be a whole new world and the V4-powered Aprilia RS-GP will be up against heavy hitters like the Yamaha YZR-M1 and Honda RC213V. So, of course, it's only right that Aprilia will use the entire 2015 MotoGP season for research and development, with Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri doing the honours. In 2016, Aprilia will mount a full-on challenge, with a factory team in MotoGP.
“We have already been on the track for the first testing sessions of this new adventure that officially starts today. We chose to move up our start date, getting into the mix in the 2015 MotoGP World Championship because we believe that this is the solution which is certainly the most risky but also the best one to become competitive as quickly as possible," says Romano Albesiano, Aprilia's Racing Manager. "We certainly could have avoided the pressure and waited until next year, but that's not what Aprilia wanted. In terms of development we are starting on a solid foundation which is the result of our winning experience in Superbike and the ART project, the only CRT that was able to show potential close to real MotoGP bikes. For us this will be a year of testing, development, to be taken full advantage of as we look toward 2016 when we will be able to ride a real Aprilia prototype bike onto the track," he adds.
“The Piaggio Group has given us an opportunity that we could not turn down. This exciting adventure, which for Aprilia is a return to the top world motorcycle racing category and for Gresini Racing opens up an important new chapter, is being officially introduced today, but it is a project that we have been working on already for some months. We want to be as prepared as possible for a challenge which promises to be difficult, but exciting at the same time. After all, I couldn't have imagined anything more stimulating for someone like me who lives and breathes racing passion," says Fausto Gresini, Aprilia Team Manager. "I agree one hundred percent with Aprilia's choice to jump straight into the mix. Racing against adversaries who are already extremely competitive is without a doubt a difficult task, but it is also the quickest way to develop. We can also count on two expert riders we know very well. This is another factor that will help us to streamline the growth process even more. This collaboration with Aprilia opens up new technological possibilities for us. For every Grand Prix race it will be satisfying and exciting to assess the technical innovations available to us and how much progress we are making, the result of the whole team's efforts,” he adds.