Aprilia will have a new satellite team in 2024, thanks to the entry of Trackhouse Racing into MotoGP. A new adventure for the team founded by former NASCAR driver and entrepreneur, Justin Marks, who has decided to expand his commitment to the world of motorsport, bringing his brand into the premier MotoGP class.
“When I founded Trackhouse a few years ago in America I wanted to create a motorsport brand that was international, truly unique and different from anything else already in that landscape. We started the company in NASCAR, while still keeping an eye on the future and the possibilities that could arise" explained Marks, who we intercepted outside the Sky studios after the team's presentation. “As I said, Trackhouse is different from other brands and the possibility of expanding into the world of two wheels, MotoGP in particular, is perfect for us, but I didn't think it would be possible. Then I went to Austria to watch the Grand Prix, I started talking with Dorna about how the championship is structured and communicating with Aprilia, I saw that there was a small opportunity to enter MotoGP and we did it, because it was a special opportunity."
A new challenge for Trackhouse Racing, which can count on the support of Aprilia in its debut season in the championship.
“Aprilia produces excellent bikes. They are very fast and their performances suggest that they are on the way to the top of the championship - commented the 42-year-old born in St. Louis - I like the fact that it is a small reality and that we are not part of a big machine like Ducati , with a lot of bikes on the grid. By doing so, we can stay focused and work closely with a small team, very dedicated to its bikes and its riders. It's the ideal type of relationship for Trackhouse to begin building our team with.”
A project to grow step by step, without starting with any particular expectations.
“We will enter MotoGP as we did in NASCAR, without immediately focusing on the results but on the process - underlined the founder and owner of the American team - I need to understand the bike, the personalities of the riders and what they need to work with Aprilia and help them develop the bike. If you work in the right way and with the right tools, the results usually come by themselves. For this reason, my expectations of the team and my objectives are to understand this sport, operate in an excellent manner and put all the pieces in place to see how they react, and then determine what results we can aspire to."
However, one of the goals that Marks has already set himself is to become the spokesperson for MotoGP in the United States. In order to help Dorna replicate the results achieved by Formula 1 on the stars and stripes scene.
“That's one of the things I'm really excited about, because I think MotoGP has a lot of potential for growth in the United States, because America is very hungry for sports and entertainment and is used to seeing and learning new things - Justin said to us - I'm excited to be a strategic partner for Dorna and MotoGP and help them grow the sport in North America now that they have an American voice that can promote the championship. Together we can work to make this a reality, because I think MotoGP has all the ingredients to be a very popular sport in America. The duration of the races is the right one, as are the qualities of the competition and the riders, who are fast, courageous and sexy. We just have to show Americans all the things that are there and that they love and we will work hard with Dorna to do that."
A first step towards achieving this objective can only be to exploit the team's presence in NASCAR, to bring MotoGP closer to the American public.
“The really nice thing is that we have the attention of a large audience in North America thanks to NASCAR, so what I would like to do is take a MotoGP bike to a NASCAR track, to do a demonstration lap for the fans. It would be an excellent way to show motorcycle racing to millions of people who perhaps don't already know it - observed the entrepreneur - This is certainly part of our strategy with Dorna".