Have Aprilia ‘got someone in mind?' | Rider market prediction tipped

“Look at Ducati. When was the last time they didn’t have an Italian rider?"
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March

A tip for Aprilia’s rider market movement was made on the Crash MotoGP podcast.

Aprilia missed out on Fabio Quartararo who has penned a big-money deal to stay at Yamaha.

The Italian manufacturer reportedly failed with a € 4m-per-yer offer to snare Quartararo.

“That [the size of the offer] tells you that Aprilia were not going all-out for Quartararo,” Crash’s Peter McLaren said on our podcast.

“So they are either happy with who they’ve got, or they’ve got someone else in mind.

“It doesn’t sound like a ‘we are going all-out to get this guy’ kind of a pay packet.

“That tells you that they have got something else they are working on, maybe. Time will tell.”

Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales make up the Aprilia duo, with Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez at Trackhouse.

All four riders are out-of-contract at the end of this year, leaving Aprilia with big decisions to make.

“They have said publicly the same as KTM, that ‘we want to keep the riders that we’ve got now’,” McLaren reported.

“That’s in an ideal world. And assumes that all of the riders are performing well.

“[Massimo Rivola] goes on to say, in preseason at Sepang, that he has to be ready to react.

“‘If someone takes one of our riders, I have to be ready to go to the market, know what’s going on, and get someone else in’.

“So they are hedging their bets.

“He made it clear, why he wants to keep four riders, is the stability.

“Changing a rider means changing the crew chief, sometimes the mechanics.

“You usually only see a factory team change one rider at a time.

“If we follow that logic, Aprilia will want to keep at least one rider.

“That fits with the names that are already signed. Bagnaia, Quartararo…"

Enea Bastianini, MotoGP race, Portuguese MotoGP, 24 March
Enea Bastianini, MotoGP race, Portuguese MotoGP, 24 March

Is Enea Bastianini suited to Aprilia?

“The second rider? It depends how they are performing," McLaren reported.

“Aleix did fantastically in Qatar, apart from the race result. Speed-wise he impressed.

“Then Vinales did great in Portimao.

“What will happen this time? Will Miguel Oliveira pop up?

“They have got a lot of options at Aprilia.

Enea Bastianini - the Italian rider. It’s good to raise his name. The one thing they haven’t got in Aprilia is an Italian rider.

“Look at Ducati. When was the last time they didn’t have an Italian rider? They’ve always had one Italian in the factory team.

“It would be good for [Aprilia]. It may even help sponsorship, who knows.

“If you are Bastianini, we don’t know what will happen with this ride.

“How safe is his position in the factory team against guys like Martin, Marquez, Bezz potentially?

“Then what is the pull factor from Aprilia? “How much do Aprilia want another rider compared to the guys they’ve got?”

Crash journalist Robert Jones added: “We all expected Jorge Martin to be the first domino to fall.

“But, now that it’s Quartararo, that actually has a big impact on Martin potentially staying with Ducati.

“It opens the door, if Bastianini’s place is in question at the factory team…

“The ties of him being Italian. And Aleix retiring which gets closer with every season.

“There are a lot of legs to Bastianini moving to Aprilia if he feels that his seat is in danger.”

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