Aprilia to quit MotoGP?

Published: 24 November 2004

Shane Byrne and Jeremy McWilliams could be looking for work later this week as rumours grow that the Aprilia team will not compete in MotoGP in 2005.

The team has faced an uncertain future since the start of this year, with financial difficulties leading to a buy-out by Piaggio. The deal has yet to be completed due to an investiagtion by the European Commission but is expected to be finialised shortly.

The race team had been forced to delay the debut of their 2004 race bikes due to the money troubles, and the 2003 failed to make an impact with McWilliams ending the season in 19th position in the riders championship and Byrne in 20th place.

The firm also lost out in the constructors championship, finishing sixth ahead of Proton KR, Harris WCM and Moriwaki.

An official announcement is expected later this week, despite the 2004 bike appearing at a shakedown test at Jerez in Spain last week. Byrne set a best time of 1 minute 43.957 seconds despite a big crash on the 2003 machine earlier in the day. The former British Superbike champion remained upbeat despite his team's uncertain future as he heads off on holiday on Wednesday.

Do you think Aprilia will stay in MotoGP? Post your predictions by following the Related Topic link on the right.