RNF Aprilia MotoGP team principle Razlan Razali made clear that the squad is looking to achieve “immediate results” in its first year running as Aprilia’s official satellite team.
The Malaysian outfit is embarking upon its first campaign working with the Italian brand in 2023 following four seasons operating as Yamaha’s satellite partner – the first three operating under its previous Sepang International Circuit ownership – having scored a total of six wins and a best teams championship result of second in 2019 running M1’s.
A tough 2022 term facilitated a switch to run Aprilia’s ever improving RS-GP’s for this year though, with Razali hoping a fresh start – headlined by two new riders in the shape of ex-factory KTM racer Miguel Oliveira and 2021 Moto2 runner-up Raul Fernandez – can allow the squad to return to the front of the grid.
Razali insisted to MotoGP.com that the team is “desperate for success again”, and that it was targeting scoring podiums from the outset with the RS-GP.
“We are desperate for success again,” said Razali.
“With Aprilia and our two new riders we want immediate results, we want to come back into competitiveness with top tens, top fives and even some podiums our main targets (from the start of 2023.)”
RNF Racing team manager Wilco Zeelenberg shared the same lofty expectations as Razali, the South African describing Oliveira and Fernandez as “hotshots” as well as labelling the teams familiarisation expedition with its new machines as going “better than expected.”
“With Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez we have two hotshots, Miguel won two races last year in MotoGP and we’re looking forward to seeing how he gets on with the Aprilia bike which was outperforming itself last year,” explained Zeelenberg.
“We have been working now for three or four months, we’ve been making progress but it’s not easy – although better than expected because there are many different things as you need to order different equipment and discuss many things, but the incorporation is very good.”
Zeelenberg added that RNF will campaign the ’22 edition of the RS-GP in its final evolution from last season, and while hopeful they will receive updates throughout ’23 he conceded the outfit is only expecting to make “small steps” in terms of overall speed across the year.
“We agreed to run the 2022 factory bike, so the last spec they had at the end of last season we will run for 2023,” revealed Zeelenberg.
“There are possibilities for improvements if they find something and we can share, but they need time to make them like we had with Yamaha so while the work never stops, we need to be realistic at this moment in that finding big things to make big steps is not impossible, but it will be small steps.”
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