Noale (Italy), 20 December 2018 – The Piaggio Group announces that from 7 January 2019Massimo Rivola will assume the responsibilities as CEO of Aprilia Racing. Forty-seven years old with a business degree, a motorcycle and Aprilia brand enthusiast, Massimo Rivola has the experience of twenty-one seasons and more than 300 GP races in F1. Twelve years in pit lane with Minardi, Toro Rosso and, with seven seasons, he was the longest running Sports Director in the history of Ferrari.
He has worked with great champions including Alonso and Vettel. For the last three years he has been the head of the Ferrari Driver Academy, taking a young Leclerc from an F3 car to the wheel of the F1 car from Maranello. The appointment of Rivola, who brings to MotoGP the vast experience accumulated in Formula 1, is another important step in the path of consolidating the Noale racing department and conformation of the Piaggio Group's commitment to growing the MotoGP project. With this addition, Aprilia Racing continues to grow after the signing of top rider Andrea Iannone, who will ride alongside reconfirmed Aleix Espargaró, the arrival of Bradley Smith as tester and the addition of two new crew chiefs with proven experience, Antonio Jimenez and Fabrizio Cecchini.
BRADLEY SMITH TEST RIDER FOR THE APRILIA MOTOGP PROJECT
THE ENGLISH RIDER WILL JOIN THE APRILIA TEST TEAM FOR 2019 AND HE WILL ALSO COMPETE ASTRIDE THE RS-GP IN A SERIES OF WILD CARDS DURING THE NEXT SEASON.
Noale, 6 September 2018 – Aprilia's home GP at Misano Adriatico (8-9 September 2018) is also the chance for an important formalization. MotoGP rider Bradley Smith will join the Aprilia Test Team for 2019 and will also compete astride the RS-GP in a series of wild cards during next season. The arrival of the British rider, runner-up 125 champion in 2009 on Aprilia, is part of the racing department's reorganization and reinforcing process to consolidate the Aprilia MotoGP project.
Bradley Smith, born in 1980, took his first steps in motorcycle racing at a very young age in motocross, later making his début in the single-brand Aprilia Superteens where he was quickly in the limelight. He moved up to the 125 World Championship class in 2006, taking his first podium finish the following year. He was then runner-up champion in the category in 2009, whereas in 2011 and 2012 he raced in the intermediate Moto2 class. In his MotoGP experience, begun in 2013, he has finished twice on the podium and taken a series of top 10 placements. His trophy collection also includes one from the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours, won in 2015.
ANDREA IANNONE WITH APRILIA FOR THE 2019 AND 2020 SEASONS
ROMANO ALBESIANO: "THIS IS A SIGN OF APRILIA'S INCREASING COMMITMENT TO THE MOTOGP PROJECT". THIS TAKES THE APRILIA MOTOGP PROJECT INTO ITS SECOND EVOLUTIONARY STAGE, MOVING THE TEAM FROM NOALE TO A NEW AND HIGHER LEVEL, EVER CLOSER TO THE LEADERS.
Noale (Italy), 8 June 2018 – Andrea Iannone will be astride an Aprilia RS-GP for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons. The Italian rider from Vasto, born in 1989, will ride alongside the already confirmed Aleix Espargaró. Aprilia fans from all over the world can dream, as Andrea Iannone brings experience, speed and a desire to win at top levels to Aprilia Racing. Together they will tackle a thrilling challenge with every intention of rising to the occasion. The return of an Italian rider to Aprilia is also reason for great pride in the Piaggio Group and it honours the long standing tradition of great champions and unforgettable wins for the manufacturer from Noale which has fostered and raised up almost all the best Italian talent in recent World Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing history.
Aprilia Racing thereby adds an important element of growth to its ambitious project – the youngest in the MotoGP championship – led by a very young but highly expert and talented racing department, the advanced technological diamond head and the expression of a great, all-Italian industrial group. In fact, the Iannone-Espargaró duo represents one of the fastest combinations in MotoGP. They are capable of ensuring great competitiveness and an excellent top shelf technical level in order to further close the gap behind the championship lead. They are expert, fast riders and they have strong ties to a thrilling project that is not only a sports project, but also a technical one, which will contribute to the development of the entire Aprilia range, on the track and on the road.
ALEIX ESPARGARO’ ON THE SADDLE OF THE APRILIA RS-GP, DURING THE 2018 MUGELLO GRAND PRIX.
In MotoGP since 2013, after shining in 125 and Moto2 with a total of 12 wins and 12 podium finishes, Andrea Iannone boasts a trophy collection in the top class that includes one win, 8 podiums and 2 pole positions. ROMANO ALBESIANO, APRILIA RACING MANAGER: "With Iannone, we have another highly talented and fast rider who is also demonstrating his value this season. His arrival is a sign of the Piaggio Group and Aprilia's growing commitment to the MotoGP programme, where our bike has already demonstrated that it can rely on a valid technical base. Now we need to stay focused on the 2018 season, beginning from the next GP of Barcelona. We have a strong team that has never stopped working hard. We want to keep growing and take the RS-GP where it deserves to be this season, which is still long, with Aleix and Scott, speaking of whom, I wish to thank publicly for his great professionalism and for his consistently high level of commitment.”
FROM LEFT: ROMANO ALBESIANO AND FAUSTO GRESINI.
FAUSTO GRESINI, TEAM MANAGER: “The combination of Iannone and Aprilia will be fantastic – one of the most interesting in MotoGP – and it has the potential to bring great results. Andrea is a strong, fast and concrete rider. I think that he will be able to provide great support for the team and contribute to the development of the bike. And then, there is no denying that it is always a pleasure to have an Italian rider on an Italian bike Welcome, Andrea. Let's have fun!”