Aprilia 2025 seat: "Let’s see if we’ll finally get an Italian on an Italian bike"

Massimo Rivola discussed the task of replacing Aleix Espargaro next season, and whether or not they will pursue a home rider for the RS-GP

MotoGP™ silly season is certainly in full swing as riders and teams set about planning for the future. Following Aleix Espargaro’s announcement that he will retire at the end of the season, it means that one of the most coveted seats on the grid has opened up for 2025 and speculation is already rife as to who will partner Maverick Viñales on the factory Aprilia team in 2025.

The Noale-based factory have expressed a desire to have an Italian rider on their team, something which hasn’t been the case for the past few seasons. Spaniards Espargaro, Viñales and Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) occupy three full-time RS-GPs currently on the grid, with Portuguese star Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing) on the other. Italian Test Rider Lorenzo Savadori has of course competed on numerous occasions, and even filled in for a chunk of the 2021 season until the arrival of Viñales but we have to go back to 2019 and the time of Andrea Iannone for the last time they had a rider from Italy complete a full season.

Let’s see if we’ll finally get an Italian on an Italian bike

Massimo Rivola - FP1 at the Catalan GP

That wait may come to an end sooner rather than later however, as Aprilia search for Espargaro’s replacement. MotoGP™ Pitlane reporter Jack Appleyard tracked down Massimo Rivola during FP1 at the Catalan GP and the Aprilia Racing CEO opened up on the situation.

“I think the market will be quite interesting with some good opportunities. Let’s see if we’ll finally get an Italian on an Italian bike or not. I think it will be a good opportunity. Obviously, taking the place of Aleix won’t be easy for anybody, so anyone who comes in needs to be hungry.”

Aprilia are likely to have their pick of riders, but four Italians are out of contract at the end of the campaign. Enea Bastianini is currently fighting to keep his place alongside Francesco Bagnaia on the factory Ducati team but is facing pressure from Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) and Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™). There is also three-time race winner Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) who has previously stated his desire to ride a factory bike, while both Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) and Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) both have premier class race-winning pedigree. All four are yet to confirm what their future holds. 

With a range of talented riders potentially available, the competition for the Aprilia seat is set to be fierce. 

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