Yesterday we gave you some excerpts from a interview with Romano Albesiano, Aprilia race manager, as published in Corriere dello Sport. The Italian engineer spoke about the new RS-GP that will debut at Sepang and about the new technical features, but there's another hot topic to face this season: the riders' market.
In 2018 Aprilia will field Aleix Espargarò as well as new entry Scott Redding, chosen over Sam Lowes who did not do enough during his debut MotoGP season.
“Aleix has been very important to us. He's helped us make that penultimate step towards the top. As for Redding, he has great potential and will be able to demonstrate that with us, as he did in Moto2” Albesiano comments.
In a few months' time though, those names may change and the team needs to be ready on this front too. Last year, Aprilia tried to hire Danilo Petrucci, though negotiations didn't come off.
“We'll try not to get too involved at first, as far as that is possible - he states, remaining vague with regard to the market - We'd definitely like to look ahead to 2019 and 2020 with continuity, so I'm not ruling out the possibility of reconfirming both or at least one of our riders”.
Albesiano doesn't appear interested in chasing top riders, despite the fact that all managers have a dream when it comes to who will be entrusted with their bikes.
“Aprilia's dream would be... the truth is that I am more technical director than sporting director, so I think about making the difference from this standpoint. The competitiveness of the bike is fundamental. I have a dream, but I don't want to talk about it for now” he says, avoiding the question.
But a Marquez would be on anyone's wish list, there's no denying it.
“I think Marc would probably win some races with any bike, but that's only a guess. A rider can climb on a bike and get on well or not. A nae to bet on in 2018? I've just mentioned him” he concludes.