Aprilia Announces Return to 2016 MotoGP

Aprilia's Shane Byrne during the 2004 MotoGP Championship - the final year Aprilia fielded a prototype in MotoGP

Aprilia’s Shane Byrne during the 2004 MotoGP Championship – the final year Aprilia fielded a prototype in MotoGP

2016 MotoGP News

Aprilia made an important announcement Tuesday at EICMA (Milan Motorcycle Show) – the Noale-based motorcycle manufacturer will rejoin the MotoGP grid in 2016 with a factory prototype.

“In 2016, Aprilia will return to MotoGP with the goal of winning and discovering the same success we have enjoyed in World Superbikes,” says Roberto Colaninno, CEO of Piaggio, which owns Aprilia.

With the return of Suzuki confirmed for 2015 MotoGP, there can possibly be five manufacturers in 2016 MotoGP – Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia.

Aprilia’s last season with a factory prototype in MotoGP was 2004, when Jeremy McWilliams and Shane Byrne finished 19th and 20th, respectively, and the Italian brand finished sixth in the manufacturer points race.

But its been a different story in other World Championship classes; Aprilia garned 10 titles in the former 125cc class, and nine titles in the former 250cc class, which included titles by Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi.

Aprilia has also faired well in World Superbike, where it took the 2009 and 2011 manufacturer titles en route to Biaggi taking those both championships.

And Aprilia’s ART machines have dominated in MotoGP since the CRT class was implemented in 2012. Aleix Espargaro took the top CRT honors aboard Arpilia machinery in 2012 and 2013.

In other Aprilia racing news, longtime boss in World Superbike Luigi Dall’Igna signed as head boss at Ducati Corse, where he will overlook the Bologna-based motorcycle manufacturer’s SBK racing efforts.

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