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MotoGP, Rivola: "We'll be the last ones to choose the riders, the retainer won't be huge."

VIDEO - "It's our philosophy until we start winning. We'll be among the last to choose because the riders are in a privileged position, we have a bike that's good, even if it's not the best yet."

MotoGP, Rivola: "We'll be the last ones to choose the riders, the retainer won't be huge."

Video interview by Tiziano Niero

Aprilia with Massimo Rivola is studying hard to get among the top of the class. The road is not yet finished, but the direction taken seems to be the right one. Vinales showed signs of resurgence in Portimao and only a technical problem did not allow him to shine again on Sunday after his victory in the Sprint. Opponents have also noticed this, and the RS-GP is beginning to be a coveted machine, so much so that there had even been talk of a possible arrival of Quartararo. He talked about all this with our very own Tiziano Niero, who interviewed him in Austin (find the video above). And there is also a special guest.

"I would say that the performance of our bike is good, even if it is not yet super reliable, not because of mistakes in the design but because of trivial human errors," Rivola admitted, referring to the Portimao problem. "That's better, even if you should not see an Aprilia stopping on the track. I think that potentially in Qatar the fastest bike was number 41 and in Portimao number 12, it is interesting to see that the RS-GP is going strong at several different circuits, however we have not yet achieved anything important, except for the satisfaction of the Sprints and to see Maverick get to victory, something we have been waiting for a long time. Now we are in the United States, at a circuit that is not one of our favorites, but the fact that the bike is starting to go strong even on tracks that on paper are not ours I think can make us look forward to this race as well. Then the European GPs will start which will show the true quality of the bikes, we are fierce and with the knife between our teeth to show that we are there too."

Why does Austin not suit Aprilia too well?
"Historically we have never been very strong here, although last year we were competitive. There are four major braking points where we weren't giving our best, although now we're not doing bad at all in that area either. Let's say I'm curious. There are 2 or 3 riders here who are really strong, like Marquez and Rins, it will be interesting to see them on different bikes than usual."

Yamaha took Quartararo off the market, and a thought away from you?
"They are nice thoughts when riders of great depth like Fabio are interested in Aprilia. It is a recognition for Noale, it is a pleasure. Then, if there the right conditions OK, otherwise it's fine anyway. We go on our way, we want to improve our bike and we have four riders that I think are very strong."

Now comes Liberty Media, you had been progressing with Trackhouse...
"I think right now the goal is to attract new manufacturers rather than teams. We are in a very good position and the arrival of an American satellite team was excellent news for us. Today we are not yet sensing the arrival of Liberty, but there are two certainties. The first is that Dorna with Carmelo has done an incredible job to bring us here and be attractive for this kind of investment; the second is that Liberty has done something sensational in Formula 1 and I think it has all the right cards to distribute our show around the world with even more momentum. All of this makes me look to the future with a lot of optimism: at the show level we're better than F1, at the event level we're not, but I think Liberty has been very good at creating the event, bringing the drivers closer to the people - this will be one of the keys to our future."

And on the technical side?
"Even more than the car, I think the motorcycle will have to remain as pure as possible. Clearly, to be sustainable MotoGP will have to go to more countries, which Dorna has already started to do, like with Indonesia, markets where there is money and you can attract sponsors. In F1 we've seen top-tier sponsors, so there's still room."

What can you tell us about the rider market?
"I have news that Eddie Lawson and John Kocinski are jockeying for a seat (laughs)."

And of the rumors about Bastianini, what can you say?
"Enea is an exquisite guy and a super talented rider, personally I like him. When we won with Jacopo Cerutti the Africa Eco Race we had an incredible feedback, so having an Italian rider is definitely a win-win situation, but our priority is to make the best possible bike to be strong in the market. We also want to respect our 4 riders as first choices and give them time. Aleix has married the Aprilia project in toto and I think he deserves gratitude. He will be the first to tell us he wants to leave when he is not competitive, but if he is still fighting for the podium we have no reason not to continue with him. We have Maverick who has finally won, and for me he has been a beautiful challenge, which I don't feel I have won yet."

How did you see him after the Portimao race?
"He had the attitude of someone who wants to win not just one race. He told us in the meeting that we win and lose together, he was not furious, I saw him as someone who knows he has the motivation and the speed. We will see if there are the conditions to continue together following our philosophy, which is that the retainer fee is not huge unless we start winning. We will sit down and figure it out, it is still early to do that after 2 races, we will give him more time. We will be among the last to choose because they are in a privileged position, we have a bike that is good, even if it is not yet the best, and riders that I personally wanted. We will also see with Davide Brivio what his choices will be for Trackhouse, we are already comparing but without stress."


Translated by Julian Thomas

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