SportMotoGPAprilia already plans 2023 as if it had lost...

Aprilia already plans 2023 as if it had lost the concessions

The step forward taken by the prototype of the Noale brand materialized in the best way imaginable at the third stop on the calendar, in Argentina. There, at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit, Aleix Espargaró claimed his first victory in MotoGP and gave the Italian manufacturer its first victory in the heavy bike category more than two decades after the last time.

To top it off, the eldest of the brothers from Granollers (Barcelona) was placed at the head of the general points table, even though he lost the lead a week later, in Texas. Although it would be understandable to think that the crush in Argentina was the flower of a day, the performance exhibited by Espargaró, already since 2021, and the good feelings that Maverick Viñales has and transmits since the Indonesian Grand Prix, allow us to conclude that Aprilia ‘s progress is absolutely royal.

“I have the impression that this year we will be in a position to get more victories,” a manufacturer’s technical manager told a few days ago from the Austin paddock.

If so, Aprilia will lose the concessions it has in 2023. As has learned, both Dorna , the event’s promoter, and the International Motorcycling Federation ( FIM ), are planning to eliminate the concession system once Aprilia loses it.

For that to happen, the manufacturer must add six points in two years. A win means three of them; a second place, two; and the third square, one. Between Aleix’s victory in Argentina and the podium he himself achieved last year at Silverstone , Aprilia has already accumulated four points.

These privileges were introduced in 2016 with the intention that younger brands could buy time, have more room to develop their prototypes and equalize forces. Those who receive them have nine engines per driver instead of the seven stipulated by regulations, in addition to the freedom to develop them throughout the season and the possibility that their regular riders carry out training sessions without restriction.

At the same time, the number of possible wild cards increases from three to six and, in fact, Aprilia will consume two of those invitations with its test rider, Lorenzo Savadori, this weekend at Portimao and the next at Jerez.

Pending an official notification, everything is planned so that 2022 will be the last year with the concessions in force, regardless of what Aprilia does, the only team that still benefits from them.

Probably for this reason, the Italian team has anticipated this, and is already operating so far this year as if it did not have those licences. “Obviously losing the concessions is a possibility, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem for us. In fact, we are already planning the 2023 project as if we didn’t have them. Having become a factory team – without the link with Gresini – is part of that growth,” Massimo Rivola , CEO of Aprilia’s racing department, told

To anticipate the scenario that they will find themselves in, the Noale engineers and technicians have set themselves the goal that both Espargaró and Viñales complete the 21 scheduled appointments with eight engines each, one less than they would be authorized to use.

“It is a good strategy to plan the use of the available engines while maintaining a safety margin. In our case, trying to save one responds to the possibility that we lose the concessions”, underlines Romano Albesiano , technical director of the team, to whom he writes “In any case”, he adds, “if we have the need to use them all, we will do it”.

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