What the New RNF Aprilia Satellite Team Means for Yamaha

Aprilia seem to use Mugello as their news outlet weekend. Not only did they announce keeping both Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales, they also announced working together with RNF for a satellite team. This project will start in 2023 and go at least until 2024. But what does this mean for Yamaha?

The Silly Season in Full Swings

RNF Aprilia, as it will probably be known then, is currently RNF Yamaha. This satellite team is currently struggling with their lineup of 3x world championship runner up Andrea Dovizioso and rookie Darren Binder. Obviously they were also struggling with their machinery, seeing as the switch to Aprilia has now been confirmed.

This immediately means that Aprilia will have 4 bikes on the grid from 2023 onwards, while Yamaha would only have 2. That is a punch in the guts for the Japanese manufacturer. The 2021 World Champion bike loses possible development data.

Now what everyone could guess is that since Suzuki is leaving MotoGP, Yamaha could take that place, right?

New Manufacturer or New Satellite Team?

Dorna has expressed their desire to give the opening space to a new manufacturer rather than just a new satellite team. In particular, they are already in talks with potential new marques interested. This is the next blow to Yamaha. If they wanted a satellite team, they would now have to talk to existing customer teams.

However the existing teams have existing contract. They cannot just exit that without paying a fine. This fine would have to be paid by Yamaha, because the team bosses would probably rather stay with Ducati. However, that could become too expensive, meaning the Japanese marque will probably have to accept one year with only 2 bikes on the grid.

RNF Aprilia – the Underdog Success Story

The Italian manufacturer has shown their class in recent races. Aleix Espargaró is even a championship contender in 2022. Of course, this natural step forward is logical, however quite surprising with how quick it happened. Here’s hoping that this success story so far is a good indicator for a new world-class contender.

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