What next for Aprilia, after missing out on Fabio Quartararo?

Will Aprilia look elsewhere or stick with what they've got?

Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March

Aprilia were the team most strongly linked with a move for Fabio Quartararo, but he has now re-signed with Yamaha.

That leaves the Italian manufacturer having to decide what to do next - in the rider market, and with the 2024 MotoGP season.

Aprilia can sense a major chance to improve - but, before thinking about other riders, they must develop the RS-GP into a bike which the top riders are desperate to ride.

Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola had insisted "we are not sleeping" about the rider market, but had insisted that the priority lied in development of their bike.

His philosophy is that focusing on the competitiveness of the package would attract the best possible riders.

Interestingly Aprilia boss Rivola’s insistence that they will take time to consider their rider options for 2025 did not tally up with what Quartararo had said, before he committed to Yamaha.

The Yamaha rider publicly admitted that he wanted to make a quick decision about next year. He has now done so, signing an extension with his current team and leaving Aprilia without one big option.

How Aprilia plan to move on could depend on their bike’s competitiveness in the coming rounds.

Who will Aprilia sign for 2025?

Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales (who won the sprint race at the Portuguese MotoGP) are Aprilia’s factory riders while satellite team Trackhouse run with Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez on bikes which are almost factory-spec.

Espargaro is now the oldest rider on the grid, at 34.

He has often flirted with retirement but, should Aprilia’s fortunes improve and his results justify staying on, he could be rewarded with a new one-year deal.

Fellow veteran Vinales became the first rider in the MotoGP era to win a race for three different manufacturers in Portugal (although, because it was a sprint, the record books will say differently).

But nevertheless it was a well-timed reminder of Vinales’ talent at a time when his team were so strongly linked with Quartararo.

If they want to dip into the silly season chaos, which riders might be on the market?

Jorge Martin is expected to leave Pramac and, if he doesn’t receive a factory Ducati promotion, would be available.

If Martin is promoted to wear red, Enea Bastianini will be out of a job.

Yamaha's expenditure to keep Quartararo might prohibit them from paying big for either Martin or Bastianini, opening the door to Aprilia.

Aprilia’s Rivola has previously admitted interest in acquiring an Italian rider.

Marco Bezzecchi might represent another opportunity to do so. Aprilia could offer the VR46 rider his first factory opportunity.

The presence of Trackhouse within Aprilia means they might look to American options.

Moto2 prospect Joe Roberts is the obvious candidate although he is likelier for Trackhouse, than for the factory Aprilia set-up.

Read More