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Witteveen announces decision to quit Aprilia

Witteveen announces decision to quit Aprilia

Witteveen announces decision to quit Aprilia

Aprilia Racing Director Jan Witteveen has confirmed that he will be resigning from the Italian factory at the end of the month. Witteveen told that he had thought long and hard about the decision but informed factory chiefs of his intentions after the final round of the season at Valencia.

"At Valencia I verbally expressed my intention to resign," explained Witteveen, who has been with Aprilia for 15 years. "Now it has been presented in writing and it was accepted last week, so it is time to make it public.

"This decision represents the end of an era for me. I began collaborating with Aprilia in 1989 and they have been fifteen and a half years of hard work, winning 176 Grands Prix and 23 World Championships – 13 with the riders and 10 as a constructor.

"I gave a lot and I received a lot. I am leaving on good terms – without any problems or controversy."

Witteveen, 56, went on to explain that his decision to quit came from a different viewpoint to factory bosses in the way the racing department should be run. "The objective is always the same, to try and win titles, but over the past two years there has been a difference in opinion regarding the way the project should be constructed.

"I wanted to wait to see if the arrival of the Piaggio Group would change things in this respect but so far I haven't seen any signs to suggest that and I think the moment to say goodbye has arrived."

The highly respected Dutch engineer will continue to work at Aprilia headquarters until the end of the year, when his contract expires, and will enjoy a period of rest before deciding what to do with his future.

"I don't have a particular project in mind," he said. "I need to take a break, put the brakes on for a while and spend time with my family. My intention is to stay in racing and approach any future decisions on my career slowly and calmly."

Witteveen added that he would not rule out a return to Aprilia in the future. "That possibility is not excluded. We have spoken about a possible role as a consultant but it is not something that will be decided now. I will evaluate that option when there is something concrete being offered."

MotoGP, 2004

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