Former Yamaha and Suzuki team boss Davide Brivio will return to the MotoGP paddock as a team boss in 2024.
Brivio will take charge of Aprilia’s new satellite team Trackhouse as team principal, replacing previously announced boss PJ Rashidi only days after the latter had unveiled the new team’s colours at their Los Angeles launch last week.
“It all happened very quickly in the last days,” Brivio said in a team statement, “with [team owner] Justin [Marks] asking me to help Trackhouse in the MotoGP challenge.
“It’s so exciting to be a part of this new project since the beginning and I’m really looking forward to get to know Trackhouse more and see what we can bring in MotoGP from the successful vision and experience that this company has in other sports and environments. It could be a great combination of the two worlds.
“Now, it’s just one more test to go, almost time to go racing and we will try to support as much as we can our two talented riders Miguel [Oliveira] and Raul [Fernandez] and have fun. In the last few days everything has happened very quickly and before I could not say where I was going but hey, it’s great news and we will start working quickly!”
Brivio’s return to the MotoGP paddock with a satellite team follows his exit from the Formula 1 paddock - where he had joined Alpine for 2021 but became increasingly distanced from the French manufacturer's day-to-day racing operations.
Paddock talk had tipped him strongly for a role at Honda, as the man to replace current team boss Alberto Puig - which makes Trackhouse swooping in to secure Brivio's services all the more surprising.
Brivio started out working in the World Superbike championship, rising through the ranks to soon head up Yamaha’s team there before transferring to the premier class in 2002 as MotoGP switched to four strokes. During his time at Yamaha's MotoGP outfit, he was instrumental in signing Valentino Rossi away from Honda, establishing a lifelong friendship with his fellow Italian as well as winning four titles together.
He then stepped down from Yamaha in 2010 when Rossi left for Ducati, becoming a consultant to Rossi’s then-burgeoning VR46 business interests.
Brivio subsequently joined Suzuki’s restarted MotoGP project and built up a successful team from scratch to world champions, only to announce his move to F1 days after lifting the 2020 crown with Joan Mir.
The news of his role within Trackhouse comes only days after the replaced Rashidi had officially debuted in his new role alongside the team’s livery unveiling in Los Angeles.
A major figure in helping to birth the new squad in record time, Rashidi was the team’s key representative in negotiating its takeover of a 2024 grid slot at the final round of the 2023 season in Valencia, spending much of the weekend locked in meetings with both Aprilia and MotoGP series promoter Dorna to find a way to bring the American colours back onto the premier-class grid.
Expected to be in Malaysia this week for the team’s inaugural test in its new colours, that hasn’t happened, with The Race’s sources instead confirming that the American has departed the squad before there was even a chance for a wheel to turn in anger and before the news of Brivio’s role became official.
The Race says
On one hand, the appointment of Brivio to Trackhouse makes a ton of sense. He’s a paddock stalwart in every sense of the word, and his history at both Yamaha and especially Suzuki shows that he’s highly experienced in building a fast and friendly team.
He’s a signing that any number of teams would have jumped at the chance to take, and the fact that he’s landed at Trackhouse rather than his initially-rumoured move to Repsol Honda is a sign of just how seriously the new squad is taking its expansion into MotoGP.
On the other hand, though, it’s slightly surprising to see a squad which had pitched itself as coming into MotoGP as a disruptor and innovator taking on someone who very much runs teams in a more traditional way.
Previous signing Rashidi seemed, in our initial encounters, to be very much of the mould that Trackhouse wanted to be, and it’ll be interesting to see how it retains that fresh energy while blending Brivio into his new role.