Aprilia: ‘If Marquez or Quartararo are free, we don’t particularly need them'

The possible availability of Marc Marquez or Fabio Quartararo does not really interest Aprilia, they claim.
Marc Marquez, Fabio Quartararo, Austrian MotoGP, 17 August
Marc Marquez, Fabio Quartararo, Austrian MotoGP, 17 August

The MotoGP rider market hinges on the current unhappiness of the ex-world champions of Honda and Yamaha, for whom the Monday test at Misano will be a crucial moment of truth before they decide whether to stay or go.

Marquez and Quartararo are contracted to their current teams for next year but, despite lingering rumours that they could seek an exit, the high-flying Aprilia are nonplussed.

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Aleix Espargaro won last weekend’s Catalunya MotoGP ahead of teammate Maverick Vinales but Aprilia insist the duo can aspire to even more.

Technical director Romano Albesiano told GPOne: “The bike is mature and the team is, too. It’s not in our plans in the short-term.

“We have four riders who are fantastic, we have improved together with Aleix.

“He has improved in maturity and working with the team. This gives you the idea of how much a rider can evolve.

“For example, if I apply this evolution to Maverick, who is already at a very high level, and maybe he improves on some aspects like his consistency, we’re talking about a rider with crazy potential.

“I’m speaking as a friend and a fan - for as long as Aleix wants to continue and go strong, like this, there is a bike for him at Aprilia.

“The same for Maverick. I expect a lot from him, more than we’ve seen up to now, which is already a lot.

“He can make another step up.”

Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Vinales, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September
Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Vinales, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3…

Aprilia also boast a pair of satellite riders in their RNF squad who they expect to extract even more potential from.

“Miguel Oliveira is a wonderful rider,” Albesiano said. “I don’t know where he would be without the bad luck he has had up to today.

“As soon as there’s a chance, he is ahead. Then he has an intelligence, an approach which is wonderful.

“I also love Raul Fernandez because he has enormous talent and just needs support, calm, a company that believes in him. We are that company.

“We will give him plenty of time to grow and show his worth which we believe is very high.

“Then if Marquez is free or Quartararo is free, I wouldn’t say we particularly need them.”

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