Martin didn’t make Aprilia MotoGP decision «out of anger”, says Rivola

On Monday evening, it was announced that Martin will leave the Ducati fold after four seasons and move to Aprilia in 2025, replacing the retiring Aleix Espargaro on a multi-year deal.

It followed a series of events over the past week at Mugello, as the Spaniard went from being selected for the factory Ducati seat to having that ride snatched away from him.

On Saturday afternoon, a member of Ducati asked Martin for time to find a way to keep both him and Gresini’s Marc Marquez in its roster for 2025.

But Martin refused to give Ducati any more time, prompting the Borgo Panigale marque to inform his manager that it was withdrawing the offer for him to join the factory team.

Martin and his agent met immediately afterwards and decided to accept one of the three offers on the table, electing to move to Aprilia on a two-year contract.

The deal between the two parties was signed on Monday, with Aprilia subsequently announcing the agreement in a short video where Espargaro welcomed his replacement Martin to the team.

Later in the afternoon, Rivola spoke to the media to express his “enormous satisfaction” at having closed the deal with a “top rider” in MotoGP.

While it could be interpreted that Martin made a hasty decision to join Aprilia following disagreement with Ducati, whose actions were dictated by the fear of losing six-time champion Marquez, Rivola insists the Spaniard’s decision was well-thought.

Jorge Martin, Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Racing

Jorge Martin, Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Racing

Photo by: Aprilia Racing

«This is a question we should ask Jorge,” he said. “I can only say that I’m very glad he took it, and if he’s angry he might be a tenth faster still next year.

‘This is a question we should ask Jorge. I can only say that I am very happy that he has taken it, and if he is angry it is possible that he will be a tenth faster next year,” he said.

I don’t know, but I can honestly say that I have seen Jorge happy, very happy. Maybe in his head it wasn’t clear that he had to make a decision, but he made it.

“I saw Jorge happy, and I saw Aleix excited and happy to welcome him. I think it was a moment in which Jorge made an important decision and took a weight off his shoulders. I want to think that Jorge has made a decision and that he will be happy that he has made it.»

For former Ferrari Formula 1 engineer Rivola, signing the current championship leader was an opportunity that it couldn’t afford to lose.

«The truth is that I didn’t imagine that a rider like Jorge was going to be free on the market. When I started to see what Ducati was doing and that the possibility came up, we took it immediately,” he said.

Rivola revealed that Aprilia started working on recruiting Martin after it became clear on the eve of the Spanish Grand Prix that its long-time rider Espargaro was going to pull the curtain down on his premier class career at the end of 2024.

“When Aleix told us in Barcelona that he is retiring at the end of the season, we started to take an interest in the possibilities,” he said.

“Surely my moves have motivated others to make decisions, as first they said they were going to announce it in Mugello, then they said they weren’t.

“We adapted to Aleix’s decision, which was to be in Italy but he wanted to do it at home and we brought it forward, and I have to say that it was lucky, because that advance is what allowed us to start talking to Jorge, and seeing him so motivated and happy to sign for us makes us very happy too.”

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing

Photo by: MotoGP

It remains unclear if Aprilia will sign a fresh contract with Maverick Vinales and keep him in the factory team for 2025 or look for alternate options in the rider market.

Vinales’ existing deal is due to expire this season.

“I also consider Maverick to be a top rider, and to have a pairing with the two of them, for me, would be the strongest pairing in the championship,” he said.

“But you can’t always have what you want. Today we were presented with the opportunity to sign Martin and we took it on the fly, with speed and determination. The fastest contract in history.

“Surely of all the offers Jorge had, ours, although respectable, was probably not the highest, but the quality of the team and the work we are doing and the work that Aleix has spoken to him about has convinced him.”

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