The news not only means Aprilia has a second team for the first time since 2015, but suggests reigning champion’s Yamaha could cut back to just a factory entry next year.

Given team owner Valentino Rossi's long Yamaha Links, VR46 is sure to be rumoured as a possible satellite Yamaha candidate. But VR46 is currently in the first year of a three-year agreement with Ducati, while RNF was the only Independent team without machinery in place for 2023.

If no replacement for RNF is found by Yamaha, it would also impact World Superbike champion Toprak Razgatlioglu's chances of a MotoGP seat.

When Tech3 switched from Yamaha to KTM in 2019, Razlan Razali's Petronas SRT squad arrived in the premier-class to take over the M1 supply. The Malaysian team enjoyed rapidly escalating success with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, culminating in six race wins and title runner-up (Morbidelli) in 2020.

But SRT was forced to close its doors after the departure of Petronas at the end of a 2021, with RNF born out of its ashes. But the team, which currently runs Andrea Dovizioso on a Factory-spec bike and rookie Darryn Binder on a year-old A spec machine, was only given a one-year contract with Yamaha for 2022.

Both sides expressed confidence that it would be renewed, despite disappointing results, but Aprilia recently confirmed discussions over a satellite supply, with RNF the obvious candidate.

The 'multi-year programme' will see RNF effectively become an Aprilia junior team, developing young riders for a future place at the factory team, as occurred with both Quartararo and Morbidelli at Yamaha.

Razlan Razali thrilled with 'long term partnership'

"We are absolutely thrilled for this long term partnership with Aprilia Racing," Razali said. "Our philosophy remains to work together with the factory team to develop riders that will one day become Aprilia factory riders. We will assist them in development to ensure that we continue to be competitive and ultimately win with Aprilia Racing.

"The proposal by Aprilia Racing fulfils our long term plans, strategies and security for the next two plus two years and I must thank Aprilia Racing for its trust, confidence and faith in us. We are absolutely looking forward to the season next year and this new partnership. At the same time, we want to express our gratitude to Yamaha for these past years working together and growing together.

"We will, though, maintain our focus on working hard this season in order to improve our results together with Yamaha and eventually conclude 2022 on a high note.”

Aprilia's RS-GP hadn't broken the top six prior to Silverstone last year but has since taken five podiums - including one win - in the hands of Aleix Espargaro, who currently holds second in the world championship, making it a highly desired machine.

The only question mark, technically, will be how well the factory adapts to the loss of technical concessions for 2023.

"I am happy to announce the agreement with RNF Racing," said Aprilia Raciing CEO Massimo Riviola. "We have always reasoned in small steps and as we demonstrate the competitiveness of our RS-GP, a natural part of the journey is to see two more on track.

"The Noale racing department is a true heritage of knowledge, of technical culture applied to high performance motorbikes as well as sports management. With RNF Racing we find a partner to enhance and valorise this extraordinary heritage.

"We are thinking, of course, of the riders and the best competitiveness, but also of raising new generations of engineers, technicians and managers. To continue and improve the extraordinary, all-Italian tradition of Aprilia Racing.”

The RNF news follows hot on the heels of Aprilia's Thursday announcement that both Espargaro and Maverick Vinales will remain in the factory Aprilia team for the next two seasons.