MotoGP: Trackhouse Racing named as Aprilia's new satellite team

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American-owned Trackhouse Racing has confirmed that it will join the MotoGP grid in 2024 as Aprilia’s official satellite team.

Trackhouse Racing is owned by Justin Marks and musician Pitbull, and has been competing in the NASCAR Cup Series, securing six wins so far. They will now venture into two wheels, taking over from RNF Racing following their removal from the championship by Dorna.

In a statement released last week, Dorna stated that “repeated infractions and breaches of the Participation Agreement affecting the public image of MotoGP have obliged this decision.”

An official announcement was made via MotoGP’s social media channels on Tuesday afternoon (December 5) regarding the arrival of Trackhouse Racing, with Marks, Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola, Dorna Chief Commercial Officer Dan Rossomondo and Dorna Chief Sporting Officer Carlos Ezpeleta all present.

On stage was an Aprilia RS-GP, complete with a true American Star-Spangled banner livery which pays tribute to the late Nicky Hayden, who used a similar design during pre-season testing after joining Ducati in 2008. The full 2024 livery will be revealed early next year.

The Trackhouse Racing Aprilia unveiling

“Joining the MotoGP World Championship is a very exciting moment for our young company, Marks said. “Trackhouse has worked from day one to recognize unique and compelling motorsport opportunities and being able to expand to a global series like MotoGP is a massive step in scaling the company.

“We believe deeply in the mission of Dorna and are committed to bringing something new and exciting to the championship while working hard to help grow and amplify this amazing sport to millions of new fans in North America and beyond.”

Aprilia has signed a three-year deal with Trackhouse Racing, with Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez set to represent the team in 2024.

“We are happy and proud to welcome Trackhouse into the Aprilia Racing family,” Rivola said. “What they have been able to build in a very short time in NASCAR is an extraordinary presentation card, which anticipates the potential of this partnership.

“This is thanks to Justin Marks and his team, whom I got to know through my long-time friend PJ Rashidi, and with whom we were immediately in sync both in terms of technical ambitions and marketing and communication developments in such an important market as the US. Our commitment will increase significantly, a responsibility we gladly take on because, I am sure, it will allow us to grow even more.”

Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks onboard the Aprilia RS-GP

It’s hoped that the addition of a well-known American team will help boost the popularity of MotoGP in the United States. Hayden was the USA’s last full-time premier class rider in 2015, whilst Ben Spies was the last American to win a MotoGP race at Assen in 2011.

America does, however, have a long and successful history within the Grand Prix motorcycle racing paddock, with its riders dominating from the late 70s, through to the early 90s. Kenny Roberts Sr won three consecutive titles between 1978 and 1980, whilst Freddie Spencer securing top spot in 1983 and 1985.

Eddie Lawson was crowned champion in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1989, before Wayne Rainey won three consecutive titles between 1990 and 1992.

“Trackhouse coming to MotoGP is great news,” Rossomondo, former NBA Chief, said. “They get it – the racing success, which they’ve had plenty of already – and the marketing and promotion that comes with running a top-level motorsport team.

“That combination of operational excellence, paired with their expertise off-track, is a standard we want throughout MotoGP. We know Trackhouse’s influence will be positive and an ally for our business objective.”