Aprilia 'not targeting' satellite team, Suzuki 'discussing'

Aprilia turns focus to strengthening test team, but Suzuki still interested in a satellite MotoGP team.
Aprilia 'not targeting' satellite team, Suzuki 'discussing'

With Tech3 joining KTM, only two of the six MotoGP manufacturers will be without a satellite team in 2019.

The factories in question, Suzuki and Aprilia, have opposing views on the importance of such a project.

For Suzuki, linked with Marc VDS before the Belgian team's premier-class withdraw, it remains a clear ambition.

"This is an ongoing discussion for us inside the company," said Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio.

"As a race team, we would really like to have a satellite team, in order to get much more information and to develop even further the bike and everything.

"But for the company, it’s a big effort because we don’t have so much resources and not so many people like maybe our competitors.

"Anyway, we are always working. We keep discussing and I hope that we are able to do something for 2020.

"I haven't checked, but now it looks like that might be difficult, because I think all the satellite teams have a contract expiring after 2020.

"[A satellite team] is something in our mind, in our discussions and is a target for Suzuki, but still the decision is to come."



However Aprilia, which supported the idea of a satellite team in the past, is changing tactics.

"For Aprilia this is not a primary target," said team boss Romano Albesiano.

"We've decided to invest in the development, in the test team and in doing wild-card participation at the right level.

"This we believe - being focused on the two factory riders plus one high-level test rider - is the best way to develop for our structure, which is not a 'giant'."

The new approach has seen Aprilia sign Bradley Smith to headline its revamped test and wild-card team, while MotoGP winner Andrea Iannone joins Aleix Espargaro at the race team...