There is a new-arrival in the world championship. Confirming its commitment to MotoGP, Aprilia is set to welcome Massimo Rivola, who has recently handed in his notice as head of Ferrari's FDA.
A close friend of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel who he got to know during his seasons at Toro Rosso, Rivola was born in Faenza, Italy in 1971 and entered the world of racing in 1998, firstly with Formula 1's Minardi team, in the Marketing Office, before becoming Sporting Director and Team Manager in 2005. He then moved to the Scuderia Toro Rosso, where he was Team Manager from 2006 to 2008, before heading to Ferrari, where he has served as Sporting Director since 2009.
FDA stands for Ferrari Driver Academy, the young talent programme, in place for years already, which probably inspired Valentino Rossi. The FDA has recently given the Maranello team Charles Leclerc, who will replace Kimi Raikkonen alongside Sebastian Vettel in 2019, its ranks currently including Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong, Enzo Fittipaldi (Italian F4 champion), Antonio Fuoco, Callum Ilott, Gianluca Petecof, Guan Yu Zhou and Robert Schwartzman.
Under Rivola's guidance in the FDA, both Antonio Giovinazzi, who will drive for SauBer Alfa Romeo next season, and Antonio Fuco, a Gran Turismo driver and current Formula E tester for the Geox Dragon team, have also developed their careers.
Massimo Rivoli will take on the role of CEO of Aprilia Racing. As you will recall, Romano Albesiano, the current technical director, had hinted at a new arrival with which to give the MotoGP project an extra energy boost.
Also in the world championship, in the role of Sporting Director for team Leopard in Moto3, is Jean Todt's former right-arm, Miodrag Kutur.