The Italian marque made its greatest stride in the direction of the entrance in MotoGP in 2021 seven seasons into its return, having been considered one of solely two producers allowed to construct an all new bike amidst the COVID-enforced growth freeze.
Aleix Espargaro proved to be a constant high eight finisher throughout the marketing campaign and scored Aprilia’s first-ever podium within the fashionable MotoGP period when he was third on the British Grand Prix.
The Spaniard went on to complete the yr eighth within the standings with 120 factors.
“Yeah, it was season in comparison with the previous for certain,” Rivola stated on the finish of the 2021 marketing campaign.
“We’re very eager to combat for 2022. To start with, we might be a manufacturing facility group within the championship, but when we take a look at our progress from ’19, ’20, ’21, hopefully ’22 will maintain that development and we’ll shut the hole to the entrance.
“However nonetheless we’re behind, so there’s an extended method to go.”
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Crew
Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Behind the scenes, Aprilia’s 2021 season was unstable, with the marque rocked by the demise of Fausto Gresini – whose group ran Aprilia’s entry from 2015 to 2021 – in February.
Earlier than that, Aprilia was left with few choices to fill its second seat when Andrea Iannone was hit with a four-year doping ban – with numerous names from MotoGP, together with Andrea Dovizioso, and Moto2 turning down the group.
Lorenzo Savadori was given the trip, earlier than being changed from the Aragon GP by Maverick Vinales following his ousting from Yamaha.
Vinales managed a better of eighth on the Emilia Romagna GP, however solely scored factors twice within the closing six races as he tried to adapt to the RS-GP.
Rivola is “satisfied”, nevertheless, that Aprilia will be capable of extract the most effective out of the nine-time MotoGP race winner in 2022.
“The strategy we had with Maverick was to do the races as a check, so attempting totally different elements and set-up configurations to grasp what’s higher for him,” he added.
“That is for certain sacrificing the outcomes of the race itself, and a bit his confidence, which has been a bit tougher to construct.
“However I’m certain we have now in Maverick a brilliant expertise and I’m satisfied we’ll discover the way in which to match our assets together with his expertise.”