Leopard Racing in talks to run satellite Aprilia team for 2023 MotoGP

Leopard Racing is eyeing the entry slots vacated by Suzuki for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship amid talks to become a satellite Aprilia effort

Dennis Foggia - Leopard Racing

Leopard Racing have emerged as favourites to graduate to the MotoGP grid in 2023 by assuming the entry spots set to be vacated by the departing Suzuki Ecstar factory team.

The Italian-based Luxembourg-flagged outfit has established itself as one of the leading privateer outfits outside of MotoGP with a particularly successful Moto3 effort achieving three world titles since its debut in 2015.

Having declared its intentions to soon step up to MotoGP having briefly emerged as a candidate to take on Avintia Racing’s entry before it agreed terms with VR46 Racing, Leopard Racing were already reportedly in talks with Aprilia to take on satellite status either in 2023 or 2024.

While Aprilia has hesitated to introduce a second string team until its RS-GP proved a more competitive package, it is understood it is now prepared to invest in a bringing a satellite squad on following a successful race winning start to the 2022 season with Aleix Espargaro.

These plans are now likely to accelerate with the news Suzuki will make a shock exit from the series at the end of the year, with Dorna likely to be on hand to facilitate any Leopard Aprilia entry to ensure the grid retains 24 bikes.

It’s an expansion Espargaro is encouraged by, even if he maintains he is none the wiser as to whether it would happen.

“For sure the situation has changed quite a lot now with the exit of Suzuki and maybe the second team of Yamaha changing," he told reporters, including Visordown's sister site Crash.net

"I’ve heard some rumours that Aprilia could have a satellite team which would be great. At the end of the day it’s all rumours and talks, I cannot control this so I just try to focus on riding. 

"At the end of the day this is what counts; to be as close to Fabio in the championship or even trying to gain some points, that’s what will change more for me. You cannot control the rest." 

Focusing mostly on its Moto3 effort, it won the title in its first season with Briton Danny Kent in 2015 before adding more championship trophies with Joan Mir and Lorenzo Dalla Porta in 2017 and 2019 respectively. It currently leads the 2022 Moto3 standings with Dennis Foggia.