Motorcycle Racing

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

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

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 Autosport 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 current 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’d 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

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.

“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…

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