Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola has revealed he is currently working on bringing a title sponsor to the brand’s MotoGP squad, admitting energy drink titan Red Bull is an option.
The Italian manufacturer has seen a significant upturn in form across the opening ten races of the 2022 campaign, with long-time rider Aleix Espargaro having scored a first career victory for himself as well as Aprilia in Argentina, while a total of four other podium finishes see him sit second in the overall riders standings just 21 markers adrift of reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo.
Speaking to German publication Speedweek, Rivola conceded that it is now key that Aprilia attracts a title sponsor to help continue its progress towards fighting for titles for years to come, while also providing good value for the marque’s parent company Piaggio Group – Aprilia currently the only one of the six manufacturers that doesn’t possess a main backer.
Rivola told Speedweek that “top sponsors are waking up and looking at us” as a by-product of Aprilia’s ’22 success, and that he is currently exploring options with the likes of Red Bull among others to bring an extra source of funding to the operation.
“We now have to (find) a top sponsor,” said Rivola.
“I can report (that) top sponsors are waking up and looking at us.
“That’s a good sign, we are in talks (with new sponsors.)
“It would also be worth considering whether the Red Bull Group supports a second top team, as in Formula 1. Aprilia could become the Alpha Tauri team of MotoGP for Mr. Mateschitz.
“I really hope we find one. If we want to remain competitive, we need the appropriate budgets.”
Rivola also sounded out the idea of bringing a Formula 1-style budget cap to MotoGP in the future in order to help keep costs down, budgets in the series having skyrocketed recently off the back of emerging technology such as ride-height devices and trick aerodynamic setups that have helped to increase development costs by a significant margin in recent years.
“When we talk about this topic, we should also mention that the budget cap has been decided in Formula 1,” continued Rivola.
“The FIA has the necessary structures with competent officials who control the costs of the teams in a professional way. There may still be loopholes, but Formula 1 teams’ operating costs are falling.
“Nevertheless, we have to discuss in MotoGP whether this “budget cap” system could also be an option for us.
“Then we can talk about banning all these super tools and devices that just drive up costs. You also have to talk about new aerodynamic restrictions.
“Aprilia is very strong in this area, but for the benefit of the championship and our core business, i.e. series production, we should keep costs low.”