In an announcement today by the Piaggio Group, Aprilia has officially abandoned its Moto2 project, and will not be competing in the 250GP replacement series, nor will it be providing race equipment for other Moto2 teams. The main reason for Aprilia abandoning the project is due to the spec-motor rule that sees a modified 600cc Honda powerplant used by all the teams, but as this rule has been known for some time, there is some confusion on why Aprilia waited so long to make this decision.
In their translated statement, the company stated that, “It would be useless and harmful to the image of a large Italian and European motorcycle manufacturer, which has won 43 world titles in road racing and off road competition, to take part in a competition which relies on engine technology by a rival constructor.”
With their Moto2 chassis nearly complete, today’s announcement comes with some surprise, and comes with some speculation as to what could be going on behind the scenes at Aprilia. Whatever the true motivation may be, there is no question the move leaves teams like Mapfre Aspar and Speedup Aprilia in a lurch for a racing platform. However, there is some speculation that Jorge “Aspar” Martinez would take over development of the Aprilia chassis, continuing the Moto2 project himself.
Meanwhile, Aprilia is thought to be adding its Moto2 resources to its World Superbike effort, where the company is likely to expand from one to two teams. There is even some talk of a MotoGP revival.