The Italian brand took a huge step forward in the 2021 MotoGP season, seven years after its return, being one of only two manufacturers allowed to build a new bike amid the development freeze imposed after the COVID-19.
Aleix Espargaró consistently finished in the top eight throughout the campaign, also claiming Aprilia ‘s first podium finish in the modern era of MotoGP, when he was third at the British Grand Prix.
The Spaniard ended the year in eighth position in the standings with 120 points, and the company’s CEO, Massimo Rivola , said at the end of the season: “Yes, it has been a good season compared to the past ones.”
“We really want to fight in 2022. First of all, we will be a factory team, but if we look at our progression from 2019, we hope to maintain that progress and reduce the gap with those in front, but we are behind, so there is a long way to go. to go,” he said.
Aprilia’s 2021 season was somewhat unstable, rocked by the death of Fausto Gresini , who led the Italian team from 2015 until February of last season. Before that, Aprilia was left with few options to fill the gap left by Andrea Iannone, who was banned from racing for four years for doping.
Noale’s brand considered some options in Moto2 and the name of Andrea Dovizioso also appeared, but the chosen one was Lorenzo Savadori, who was replaced by Maverick Viñales from the Aragon Grand Prix after his departure from Yamaha.
The 2013 Moto3 champion of the year managed an eighth place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but only scored points in two of the last six rounds while adapting to the RS-GP .
However, Rivola is “convinced” that Aprilia will be able to get the best out of a rider who has won nine times in MotoGP: “The approach we had with Maverick was to do races as tests, so we rode with different parts and set-up configurations to understand what was best for him”.
“This meant sacrificing race results, and some of his confidence, something that has been difficult to do. But I am sure that Maverick is a super talent and I am convinced that we will find a way to adjust our resources to his abilities.” , settled.