Today (May 27, 2022), Aprilia announced it will bring four bikes to the MotoGP 2023 grid after teasing the RNF team away from Yamaha.
The deal is historic for Aprilia, Yamaha, and even MotoGP, as the RS-GP is confirmed as the preferred motorcycle option in Grand Prix races.
For Aprilia, this will be the first time since returning to MotoGP in 2015, they will be renting the bike to a satellite team, although, by the way, this is operating with Gresini between 2015 and 2021. This season has been Noale. The first brand is a complete factory set up since their 2015 return, and has posted its first victory, with Aleix Espargaro in Argentina. Yesterday, he announced the retention of Espargaro and Maverick Vinales for 2023, and has now announced there will be two more RS-GPs in the box with RNF starting next year as well.
Who will be riding the RS-GP is currently unclear. The news may tempt Andrea Dovizioso to stay another year. Of course, he tried Aprilia early last year before signing with the RNF to replace Franco Morbidelli, while Morbidelli replaced Vinales on the factory Aprilia team. The RS-GP is supposed to match the Italian riding style better than the Yamaha, and it might be to argue that the Aprilia is just a better motorcycle than the Yamaha. However, whether Italians actually have the motivation to stay, regardless of the machine, is not necessarily the best saying.
Dorna’s world feed commentator, Matt Birt, said during a MotoGP FP1 comment that both Raul Fernandez and Aron Canet have been linked with RNF Aprilias, and it’s not totally unknown Darryn Binder should be saved. However, Canet has shown his prowess in Moto2 this year, and is the most consistent runner in the middle class, while Fernandez’s quality is known from the Moto2 2021 title challenge. he doesn’t like KTM, whose MotoGP motorcycle isn’t the most competitive in the current championship.
For Yamaha, the deal is a major issue as it looks like the Iwata factory will be without a satellite team for the first time in MotoGP history in 2023. Of course the VR46 team could part ways with Ducati to join Yamaha. , but On Track Off Road contributor, Paddock Pass Podcast co-host, and Dorna world feed commentator, Neil Morrison, tweeted sure Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis believes the RNF is Yamaha’s only satellite option for 2023, with other independent teams locked into tighter contracts with other manufacturers.
After Suzuki’s departure in late 2022, Yamaha will be the only non-V4 manufacturer still in MotoGP. The loss of the satellite effort means there will only be two inline four -cylinder bikes in the box by 2023, according to Yamaha’s manufacturing team.
The deal is also historic for MotoGP. Spanish journalist and contributor Motociclismo Nacho Gonzalez tweeted if the RNF-Aprilia deal means, for the first time in MotoGP history, there will be more Italian bikes in the box than Japanese. Now, there will definitely be eight Ducati in MotoGP 2023, and now four Aprilia, while there are only two Yamaha and four Honda. So, in fact, between the RNF departing from Yamaha, and the Suzuki departing champion, there will be twice as many Italian bikes from Japan. Even if the VR46 goes to Yamaha, there will be 10 Italian bikes to eight Japanese.