Aprilia currently seems to be at the centre of the rider market and not only that, not because it is looking around, but because Honda would like to make some acquisitions in Noale. In recent weeks, rumours have arrived of an interest from the Japanese manufacturer in Massimo Rivola, Vinales and Oliveira. “I'm going to Honda together with Maverick and Miguel” jokes the CEO of Aprilia Racing.
After the divorce from Marquez, HRC must find a replacement in the official team. Lucio Cecchinello has no intention of letting Zarco go and Lecuona and Di Giannantonio do not have the right profile for that team. This is why Vinales and Oliveira would be very attractive at the moment.
“I don't have much to comment on, I don’t know anything about it. While I was travelling to Indonesia I read some news, but the same thing happened when I was going to Japan. I think Honda doesn't know where to go poaching and it's right for them to make a move” were the words of Rivola, who has no intention of letting any of his riders go.
After all, he made the right move in time, tying them to Aprilia with a two-year contract in a period when things were not as uncertain as they are today.
“I wanted the four riders I have and I put them under contract for 2024 too, from my side they won't move - the manager from Noale is categorical - None of them have said anything to me and I want to keep everyone. We also signed a rider halfway through the season, Vinales, but in that case he was free."
Now, however, there would be a contract to break. There has also been talk of a clause in Oliveira's contract, a loophole in case he received an offer from an official team. Rivola denied the existence of such a pretext: “there is no such clause for Miguel. Also because he is to all intents and purposes a 'factory' rider, he has a contract directly with us."
Furthermore, it seems that there is not even an agreed penalty in case of an early termination of the contract. This would mean that Aprilia would have the upper hand in case Oliveira wanted to leave.
Not to mention the fact that, in MotoGP, contracts no longer seem to be worth the paper they are printed on: "this is precisely the bad message that is getting through after the Marquez affair, I would like to know how he and Honda reached an agreement. As far as Aprilia is concerned, however, the message is: we have signed contracts, so stop bothering us. Contracts must be ironclad” Rivola concluded the matter.