Aprilia targets title tilt for 2023 MotoGP season despite prolonged podium wait

Aprilia may have only just won its first MotoGP podium after 118 grands prix attempts but it is already eyeing up the overall title as soon as 2023

Maverick Vinales - Aprilia MotoGP

Aprilia Racing boss Massimo Rivola expects his team will turn its first podium of the modern MotoGP era into regular rostrums and wins before long, with a full assault on the title being eyed for 2023.

The Italian firm finally ended its long wait for a MotoGP podium with Aleix Espargaro’s gritty third place finish in the British MotoGP at Silverstone, the result marking its first in the series since 2000 under the 500GP banner.

However, Rivola expects the silverware to accumulate quickly now, particularly with the addition of ex-Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales to the rider line-up from the upcoming Aragon MotoGP, and he is eyeing up a run at the title as early as 2023.

"In 2023, why not?" Rivola told MotoGP.com. "For 2022, it is early. We still have to get used to fighting, remaining consistently in the positions that count. 

“Aleix beating Miller at Silverstone in the final laps was remarkable, it was good and also justified for us to get on the podium, we deserved it."

Originally signed from 2022 onwards, Vinales’ acrimonious exit from Yamaha in August has brought this forward to next week’s Spanish event. 

Though the eight-time race winner has something to prove after being sacked by Yamaha for seemingly trying to deliberately break his M1 engine by over-revving, Rivola has no doubt he will pull the team further up the grid.

"If Maverick has found his passion after just a day of testing, it means that it wasn't too hidden. As we know, he is a very sensitive guy. I understand his words about the joy of returning to having fun. In the beginning, everything is always quite nice. 

“He adapted to the bike in a surprising way, we had some question marks instead. The approach was also exceptional, the decision to keep Aleix's bike without making any changes, I can only be happy.”