If you have any hopes of seeing Aprilia in the upcoming Moto2 series, you may have to be get over them if early reports are to be believed. While official word is expected later this August, it would appear that Aprilia will not develop a custom chassis and compete in the Moto2 series, which is scheduled to replace the 250GP next year.
Jorge “Aspar” Martinez had been linked to the team earlier as possibly being on board with the Italian company to continue his involvement in the middle-tier GP series. This rumor now seems to be denied, as there has been no movement in the Aprilia camp towards developing a chassis around the Honda CBR 600cc powerplant the new series is slated to use.
Aprilia is currently present in both the 125GP and 250GP, but while remaining in the 125GP for next year, the Noale factory house will focus its efforts on the RSV4 and the World Superbike Championship. To date, Aprilia has accomplished many of its goals in WSBK, and had hoped to be truly competitve in the series in 2010. So far, they’ve been right on track with that timeline.
The Aprilia Factory team has been on the podium several times in WSBK, and Max Biaggi is well into the top 10 with his current 6th place standing overall (Shinya Nakano is 13th). This last race a Donington saw Biaggi finish 2nd, and Nakano 6th in Race 1, proving the RSV4 clearly has the ability to run up at the front of the pack (when riders don’t crash, and bikes don’t break).
With an eye on the future, Aprilia is likely seeing that racing success will be easier to achieve in WSBK, where it has already gathered some steam, than in Moto2. Also, considering Aprilia has no 600cc bike on the market…yet, there is less of a direct pay-off developmentally for the Italian factory’s road bike program. Of course that could change in the coming years, if our rumormill is to be believed.
With this year’s RSV4 holding up quite well to its trial-by-fire in World Superbike, teams have already started requesting to use the bike in their satellite programs for next year. You can count on seeing a least a few teams with the RSV4, although no word on whom they may be.