Razali: Aprilia ‘want us in front of the factory boys’, ‘no walls’

Aprilia wants to see Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez challenging factory MotoGP stars Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales in MotoGP this season.
Raul Fernandez, Miguel
Raul Fernandez, Miguel

That’s the view of RNF boss Razlan Razali, who says he has been impressed by the welcome and ‘transparency’ from Aprilia ahead of the team’s debut year on RS-GPs.

“The target is very clear. They want to see us, where possible, in front of the factory boys. You don’t get that from other factories,” Razali told Crash.net.

While Oliveira and Fernandez will have the 2022-spec machines, Razali added: “I'm confident that if our riders do well, Aprilia will give them the maximum support possible.

“Because at the end of the day, if our riders do well their only career path is to go to the factory team. That’s the reality. And then we would have to go back and find new riders!

“But I honestly believe and I’m confident that if our riders do well, whether it's Miguel or Raul, I think the factory team will look at options to give them whatever they can [in terms of new parts].”

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No ‘walls’ between Aprilia and RNF at Sepang

RNF, now majority owned by CryptoDATA, will begin its 2023 activities at the official Sepang test from February 10-12.

Ahead of that outing, Razali and CryptoDATA management have been present at this week’s Shakedown to run through preparations with Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola, technical director Romano Albesiano and team manager Paolo Bonora.

“This year feels very much different even for me,” said Razali, who spent three years working with Yamaha at Petronas SRT, followed by a fourth and final season on satellite M1s under the RNF banner in 2022.  

"Especially the relationship with Aprilia. The communication between Massimo [Rivola], Paolo [Bonora] with Wilco and our guys is fantastic.

“There's no barrier [as there was] with the Japanese manufacturer. We know exactly who we're talking to. We are talking to the engine guys directly, we're talking to the aerodynamic guy. They tell us exactly what's being done. So the transparency is fantastic.”

A small example of how RNF has been made to feel welcome, as Aprilia’s first satellite team of the MotoGP era, is in the layout of the pit garages for the Official Sepang test.

The two teams will not only be side-by-side but the internal metal wall is to be removed, allowing team members to move freely between the factory and RNF garages without needing to go outside.

“They told me just now that when we set-up the pit box here, they don't want any walls in between the two teams,” Razali explained. “So we can go in and out. Those are the kind of things that make us feel very welcome.

“And especially when my guys went to Noale in December for ‘schooling’ [on how to work on the RS-GP] they had a Christmas dinner hosted by Massimo. It's fantastic. It makes everything so much more pleasant. We really look forward to this year.”

Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori has been checking the RNF team's RS-GPs, alongside work on the 2023 Aprilias, at the Shakedown.

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