Marco Bezzecchi eyed up by non-Ducati rival team as silly season starts early

VR46's Marco Bezzecchi has attracted admiring glances from across the MotoGP paddock

Marco Bezzecchi, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February
Marco Bezzecchi, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February

Marco Bezzecchi has been named by Aprilia as a rider they could target for 2025.

The MotoGP rider market could kickstart early this year because everyone on the grid - except Brad Binder and Luca Marini - has a contract which will expire at the end of this season.

It means in-demand riders can choose the best bike available, while picky teams can attract the best possible rider.

Aprilia are no different. They kept faith with factory duo Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales this year, and also have Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez in their Trackhouse satellite project.

Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola has admitted the necessity to prove his team’s worth with so many potential riders available next year.

"This is also why we must be competitive right away,” he told Gazzetta.

“We will have to be in a position to make the market and not suffer [because of it].

“I want to make a premise: we have two very strong riders, we won't set out with the intention of changing them...

“But I have to keep my eyes open.

"I have never hidden my interest in Enea Bastianini, even thinking about his condition [due to injuries last year].

“He is threatened by Marc Marquez, by Jorge Martin [for his factory Ducati seat in 2025].

“And there is Bezzecchi who has impressed…”

Bezzecchi opted to stick with VR46 this season rather than go to Pramac Ducati.

His breakthrough campaign last year - where his victory in Argentina was a personal milestone, and a first win for his team - earned him admiring glances.

Ducati offered him the chance to step onto a GP24 with Pramac this year but he chose to stay on a GP23 with Valentino Rossi’s team.

Instead, his teammate Luca Marini chose to leave for a factory seat with Honda.

Aprilia could offer Bezzecchi the opportunity to have a factory bike, but also to stay Italy-based.

Aprilia boss Rivola predicted for the 2024 MotoGP season: "The official Ducatis and maybe Marquez will be very, very strong.

“But we are here and we will have fun.

“I expect Marc to win or to always be fighting with Bagnaia and Martin.

"I would be happy to improve the result of 2023, therefore to at least finish second in the Constructors' Championship.

“And then I want a victory for Vinales at all costs, I believe in him a lot.”

Aprilia will have three official bikes on the grid to begin this season, because Trackhouse’s Oliveira will use a ‘24 machine.

Fernandez will later receive a ‘24 factory spec bike, Rivola confirmed.

Rivola’s team also caught the eye during the Sepang test for their use of bold and innovative aerodynamics.

Rivola said about the test: "They were intense, for the first time we had six RS-GP24s and four RS-GP23s on the track and the work was remarkable.

“We are quite satisfied, Vinales and Espargaro were competitive with a bike still to be developed.”

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