MotoGP: Aprilia readying V4 motor for GP return

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Aprilia bosses have confirmed to MCN that a new V4 engine will begin dyno testing next year as the Italian factory plots a future return to the MotoGP world championship.

No official date has been set for an Aprilia return to MotoGP after the Noale factory quit the premier class at the end of 2004 having struggled to make the three-cylinder Cube machine competitive.

Aprilia boss Gigi Dall’Igna confirmed to MCN that designs of the new motor were currently being worked on.

Aprilia will return to World Superbikes in 2009, but a MotoGP return is on the cards with Dall’Igna confirming Aprilia has no plans to enter the new 250GP four-stroke replacement class.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta unveiled the new class last weekend in Le Mans, with capacity between 625 and 650cc, limited revs and controlled ECU.

Aprilia though don’t want to participate in the new class, not least because they don’t have a production 600cc machine like its Japanese rivals.

Dall’Igna told MCN: “We will be back in MotoGP in the future and it will be a V4 motor. For me the V4 is the perfect engine for the 800cc class. For sure Yamaha this year show us that also the in-line four is a very good concept but my opinion is the V4 is the best package.”

Dall’Igna said Aprilia’s new MotoGP would be done completely in-house after heavy involvement from UK-based car engineering company Cosworth on its RS3 990cc machine.

“We will do this project completely in-house. The experience to do a good car engine is not enough to do a good engine for bikes,” added Dall’Igna.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt