With Aprilia diving into the MotoGP shark pool one year earlier than they originally planned Aprilia Racing has already taken several steps to be ready for their new challenge, while keeping up official support for the existing championship winning WSB programme.
During recent WSB winter tests Aprilia Racing chief Romano Albesiano explained the way things should work inside Aprilia, between the MotoGP and WSB set-ups.
“In MotoGP there is a partnership with Gresini Racing, so the team is Gresini and we bring the technical side,” said Albesiano. “Here is different. This is the factory Aprilia Racing team with a co-operation with Red Devils. The name of the team will be shared between Aprilia and Red Devils. But the technical side and logistical side is still the factory Aprilia team.”
Back at home base Aprilia will be bringing all its considerable racing experience to bear on MotoGP much more than WSB now, for obvious reasons according to Albesiano. “Most of the Aprilia Racing Staff is dedicated to MotoGP now. In MotoGP we start and have to grow up, so we need maximum effort there. Here in WSB we are on top so we expect that with less effort we can keep a good level. The workforce has been split, one part for MotoGP, one part for Superbike, and the workforce of the race department has been increased. We have some new people. Also the co-operation with Gresini brought us some new people, some new strength, so overall the strength of the department is increased and shared in this way.”
Albesiano was in the R&D Department of Aprilia before taking over the racing role as well, in the winter of 2013. Now, with the addition of MotoGP to the Aprilia Racing set-up, his role is now almost exclusively in racing.
“Now I have almost quit my co-operation with R&D,” said Albesiano. “I still have some kind of involvement but it is very small. I am involved 90% in racing and I expect to spend most of my time for MotoGP, but it depends where it is needed. I believe the person responsible in the structure has his main work in helping people to work in the proper way. So I will support the guys where they need it.”