RNF ditches Yamaha for Aprilia from 2023

The #40 RNF bike of Darryn Binder. Picture:
WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Twitter

RNF Racing will become an Aprilia satellite team next year, announcing its impending switch from Yamaha.

The Razlan Razali-led squad has struck a two-year deal (plus a two-year option) with the Noale manufacturer, which will see four RS-GPs on the 2023 grid.

The outfit formerly known as the Sepang Racing Team currently fields Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder in the premier class, and proved a stepping stone for both of the Yamaha factory team’s riders in Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.

Now it will be Aprilia who enjoys that feeder system, as it continues to make an impression on MotoGP.

Through Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia has been on the podium four times this year including a breakthrough victory in Argentina.

RNF Racing founder Razali explained the move: “We are absolutely thrilled for this long-term partnership with Aprilia Racing.

“Our philosophy remains to work together with the factory team to develop riders that will one day become Aprilia factory riders.

“We will assist them in development to ensure that we continue to be competitive and ultimately win with Aprilia Racing.

“The proposal by Aprilia Racing fulfils our long-term plans, strategies and security for the next two plus two years and I must thank Massimo [Rivola, Aprilia Racing CEO] for his trust, confidence and faith in us.

“We are absolutely looking forward to the season next year and this new partnership.”

It caps a big week of news for Aprilia, which recently announced it had re-signed Espargaro and Maverick Viñales through 2024.

“I am happy to announce the agreement with RNF Racing,” said Rivola.

“We have always reasoned in small steps and as we demonstrate the competitiveness of our RS-GP, a natural part of the journey is to see two more on track.

“The Noale racing department is a true heritage of knowledge, of technical culture applied to high performance motorbikes as well as sports management.

“With RNF Racing we find a partner to enhance and valorise this extraordinary heritage.

“We are thinking, of course, of the riders and the best competitiveness, but also of raising new generations of engineers, technicians and managers. To continue and improve the extraordinary, all-Italian tradition of Aprilia Racing.”

Having had little to cheer about during the opening seven rounds of the season – RNF sits second-last in the teams’ championship – Razali made clear he wants to finish with Yamaha on a high.

“At the same time, we want to express our gratitude to Yamaha for these past years working together and growing together,” he said.

“We will, though, maintain our focus on working hard this season in order to improve our results together with Yamaha and eventually conclude 2022 on a high note.”

Aprilia’s Espargaro topped Friday practice at Mugello overnight.

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