Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA
MotoGP Dutch GP

How 2024's 'fake' Bezzecchi got his factory MotoGP wishes with Aprilia

Marco Bezzecchi’s 2024 form has not been a consideration in Aprilia’s decision to sign him to its factory MotoGP team

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola says the Italian marque has leaned on what Marco Bezzecchi did in MotoGP prior to 2024 as to what he can be capable of in 2025.

On Monday, following initial Motorsport.com reports last week, Aprilia announced that it had signed Valentino Rossi protege Bezzecchi to its factory team for 2025 to join Jorge Martin.

Aprilia has made no secrets of its desire to hire an Italian rider for its factory squad, and at one stage five-time grand prix winner Enea Bastianini appeared to be favourite for that before ultimately signing with KTM to race with Tech3 next year.

Bezzecchi's name remained in the conversation, however, and when Maverick Vinales elected to sign for KTM to partner Bastianini, the planets aligned for the VR46 rider to get his factory wishes.

The 25-year-old won three grands prix in 2023 on his way to third in the standings aboard a 2022-spec Ducati at VR46 and turned down an offer to take a factory Desmosedici with Pramac for 2024.

Bezzecchi was banking on having strong machinery, albeit a year old, while still surrounded by his trusted crew and waiting for the rider market to open up for 2025. That has come to pass, rewarding his patience, though from the off it was evident he would not be getting his wishes at Ducati.

After seven rounds, Bezzecchi has scored just one podium in 2024 and amassed 45 points; at the same stage in 2023, he's already won twice and had 126 points to his credit in third in the standings. Team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio is on 74 points, albeit without a podium thus far.

Bezzecchi has struggled to get to grips with the GP23, as the way the bike works under braking goes against his style. The Italian is a hard braker but doing that on the GP23 leads to understeer problems in the turns. These were issues similar to Bastianini's last year when he stepped up to the factory team.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

But as far as Rivola is concerned, what has happened this year evidently isn't a true reflection of Bezzecchi's talents and it hasn't counted against him in staking his claim for the factory RS-GP.

"Yeah, it's true. It's a good point," Rivola said when asked if Bezzecchi's form in 2024 was a bit of a concern. "When a rider one year performs in such a good way and the following year it's not the same you start wondering if that means not enough talent or if there are some other issues that could come from different parts, not necessarily technically or whatever.

"At the end my feeling is the real Bez is the one of last year and not one of this year and for this season I still hope that we keep the fake to get better results for us [Aprilia].

"I trust in his speed and his talent quite a lot. It looks to me that he has quite a Latin character and we are used to that. Aleix for example is one of those. Jorge also looks to be one of those. It will be quite a motivating garage in Aprilia Racing but I'm looking forward to that."

Rivola highlights Bezzecchi's wet weather prowess as one impressive characteristic, with the Italian scoring his first grand prix win in those conditions in Argentina last year.

He also points to Bezzecchi's crushing win in India last year as proof of talent, highlighting an adaptability that will no doubt serve the Italian well when he jumps to the RS-GP in Valencia's post-race test in November.

"There are characteristics for sure that were quite impressive to me," Rivola adds. "For sure riding on the wet is one, the other in particular, the first time and the only time we went on a track that was new to everybody [Indian GP] he won by a huge gap.

"So, there are signs of talents that are... something you really see, like this guy is something special. You could argue that this year he is not delivering good performance despite for example Marc Marquez has the same bike and he is always fighting for a top position.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"So, I think also that sometimes there are external factors, not just technical that can guide the performance and the tricky aspect and the nice aspect is also the one to find what is really the secret to align the planets.

"Sometimes you see riders; if you look at Maverick for example in Austin, and I expected him to become world champion. But unfortunately, the planets are not always aligned. So, we need to find a way to align those planets."

Signing a multi-year deal, Bezzecchi is going to be afforded time to try and understand the Aprilia. The benchmark will be the highest he has had in MotoGP with 2023 runner-up and current championship leader Jorge Martin as a team-mate.

Based on this year alone, that may appear to be a one-sided fight. But analysing Bezzecchi's results in 2024 are hard when the best GP23 rider is eight-time world champion Marc Marquez.

Di Giannantonio has had more consistency at VR46 than Bezzecchi but hasn't scaled podium heights yet. The same is true of Gresini's Alex Marquez on the other GP23, who sits between the VR46 pair in the standings.

Aprilia is right to take the wider view of Bezzecchi and pairing him with one of the top three best riders in the world right now may elevate him to a level Ducati may never have seen had he remained one of its satellite riders.

Read Also:

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Aprilia: Adapting to all new line-up in MotoGP 2025 the only "question mark" for us
Next article Martin manager expects Ducati to provide full support for rest of MotoGP 2024

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA