until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Bezzecchi joins Martin in all-new Aprilia MotoGP line-up

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi will join his 2023 title rival Jorge Martin in Aprilia’s factory MotoGP line-up for 2025 and 2026, replacing the departing Maverick Vinales and completing something of a dream team for the Italian factory.

Aprilia hopes that Martin-Bezzecchi combination will accelerate its efforts to the next level after a successful building period under the captaincy of the retiring Aleix Espargaro.

It comes as no surprise that 25-year-old Bezzecchi will take the place of Vinales for next year after Vinales's unexpected defection to a satellite KTM machine at Tech3, with team principal Massimo Rivola making it clear for some time that if Aprilia could not retain the Spaniard it would instead look to replace him with one of MotoGP’s rising Italian stars.

"Welcome aboard to one of the best Italian talents, who has demonstrated his worth from his debut in the lower categories and especially last year in MotoGP, with outstanding performances and even breakaway victories," said Rivola in announcing Bezzecchi's arrival.

"We can’t wait to embrace Bez in Noale [Aprilia's base]; the Italian bike and Italian rider duo are extremely exciting, but even more so is the rider pair which will be formed with Jorge.

"We are really happy with our line-up for 2025, Martín and Bezzecchi were our first choices for their age, talent, grit, and determination. With them we can write a new and important chapter in the history of Aprilia Racing."

With the already-confirmed signing of current title leader Martin as its number one and with Bezzecchi joining him, it will mean a very different-looking - and substantially younger - squad for Aprilia next year as it looks to jump from infrequent race winner to title contender.

Despite a tough start to the 2024 season in which Bezzecchi has claimed just a single podium at Jerez in the same timeframe that he had two wins in 2023, it’s obvious that Aprilia still has faith in his abilities, especially considering that current VR46 team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio has so far consistently outperformed Bezzecchi this season.

There are now just two factory seats left on the 2025 MotoGP grid but, with Alex Rins expected to be retained by Yamaha, it means that really only the Honda bike currently occupied by Joan Mir is still in contention.

Mir has so far been quite vocal about his lack of desire to remain with the Japanese factory amid its ongoing struggles - but has in the past week been rumoured to be close to a contract extension with Honda after all.

That essentially leaves only satellite Ducati and Aprilia seats for the taking, something that should be sped up in the coming days as second-tier satellite team Pramac approaches the late June contract deadline where it needs to tell Ducati if it's going to remain with it for 2025 or switch, as rumoured, to Yamaha.

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