Following last month’s announcement that former Ferrari F1 team chief Massimo Rivola has been appointed Aprilia Racing CEO, the Italian has drilled in efficiency and team harmony being vital to its 2019 charge.

Rivola comes into the Aprilia senior management structure with backing from Romano Albesiano in order to free him up to focus on the technical direction of the team having previously shared his time between team management and technical work.

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Having started work at Aprilia at the beginning of January, Rivola feels the Italian squad must improve its efficiency given its smaller team size compared to its major rivals while he wants the team to use its experience to return to former world-title winning feats.

“I started one week ago and I don’t want to say I have no clue but there is a big challenge in front of me as there are a lot of people I need to know in the company, in the paddock and around the world,” Rivola told MotoGP.com. “So far it looks like F1 is more rigid and MotoGP is more open but this is before my experience in the MotoGP paddock.

“I think I can bring some good experience that I achieved not just as Ferrari but also at smaller teams Toro Rosso and Minardi.

“Aprilia is quite a small team so efficiency is a big word in our company. I think we have a company and a racing team with people who have huge experience and have won everything. 56 world titles, 294 wins [in Grand Prix racing] in Aprilia’s career but now Aprilia is not on the pace. So now we have all the right ingredients to bring it back.

“The target for this season is to grow, especially on the bike. My personal target is to take all the things that are not technical from Romano Albesiano who is a great technical director to let him develop the bike and allow him more time to concentrate on the performance.”

Rivola accepts he faces a tough task adapting to MotoGP after over two decades involved in F1, including getting to know the team and riders who he has never met, but remains confident Aprilia has the right rider combinations having signed Andrea Iannone alongside Aleix Espargaro plus Bradley Smith in its new test team.

“After 21 years in F1 moving to MotoGP it is a big challenge that is part of my passion,” he said. “I was born in Faenza which is the land of motorbikes where big champions like Reggiani, Capirossi and Dovizioso are from.

“Let’s say it follows my passion more, I am still a big fan of Formula 1, but after so many years I felt a huge motivation especially being at Aprilia which is a brand I love.

“I don’t know the riders, none of them, I will meet them soon and I am quite keen to meet them soon. I think Aleix is a fighter and I like this approach and I think what I ask of him is to keep doing that. Regarding Andrea, he is a big talent and I think the experience he had at Ducati and Suzuki made him a better and a more complete rider, more mature for sure, and I also expect him to be a team-working rider and someone who can lead the team together with Aleix. If we have a good team working we will have a big margin to improve.

“Bradley also has a very important task in front of him as we finally have a proper test team, an independent test team, and so it will be key that his indications match the indications of Andrea and Aleix. Again, I’ll stress working in a team environment will be key for this year.”

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