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Aprilia’s Future: Maverick Vinales’ Next Move and the Search for Jorge Martin’s New Team-mate

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Aprilia's team leader provides information regarding Maverick Vinales' prospects.

Which rider will partner with Jorge Martin at Aprilia next year?

Jorge Martin, the current leader in the MotoGP standings, has been confirmed as the successor to Aleix Espargaro, who is set to retire soon. Now, the focus shifts to who will fill the other factory Aprilia position.

Since joining forces with Espargaro in mid-2021, Maverick Vinales has risen to prominence. Motivated by his initial Grand Prix victory with Aprilia earlier this season, he now leads the RS-GP riders, holding sixth place in the rankings.

Should Vinales manage to surpass Espargaro in the world championship standings, he would become the first Aprilia teammate to do so, potentially signaling a symbolic transfer of leadership to rider #12.

Before securing Martin, there was speculation about pursuing an Italian rider. However, Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola's primary objective remains retaining Vinales for the period following Espargaro's departure.

Rivola mentioned that the main focus is to figure out Maverick's intentions. He added that if Maverick decides to stay, it would make him very happy. Rivola made these comments soon after revealing that Martin had been signed.

"If Maverick remains with the team, he will be appointed as the new 'Captain'," Rivola stated. "He persevered through challenging times with Aprilia, elevated the brand to a premier status, and demonstrated a unique riding style compared to Aleix."

Therefore, the search for an Italian star to call their own has been paused until Vinales makes his choice.

"If Maverick doesn't join us, we need to think about other possibilities. I see a lot of strong Italian riders out there, but that's not our main focus right now."

Even though Vinales has had his strongest start to an Aprilia season, he remains tight-lipped about his plans for 2025.

"I will make decisions that benefit my career," Vinales stated. "I still have a lot of speed. After the race in Austin, I realized just how fast I can be when everything is aligned."

"Right now, my full dedication is with Aprilia. I'm completely focused on making each weekend count and delivering an excellent season."

"As for what lies ahead, I'm still uncertain."

"I believe my choice will be solely based on performance."

Although 'pure performance' might prevent a move to Honda, Vinales could still have the option to remain with Aprilia, join a satellite Ducati team such as Martin's top-ranking Pramac squad, or opt for a satellite KTM ride.

Prior to the official announcement of Martin’s RS-GP contract, Vinales minimized the assumption that he would naturally become Aprilia’s new team leader for the next season.

“I’m uncertain about my future and whether it will involve Aprilia. However, Aleix's position within Aprilia is undoubtedly significant,” Vinales stated.

"Aleix has spent numerous years with Aprilia, and I believe he shoulders a significant amount of responsibility, having performed exceptionally well."

Espargaro appears to be gearing up for a potential role as a test rider for Honda in 2025, a development that left Vinales 'surprised'.

Rivola humorously suggested that, given his personal efforts to advertise Aprilia during the successful talks to secure Vinales and now Martin, Espargaro might be given a position as an assistant!

"Certainly, he gave a good representation of Aprilia to Vinales and Martin. That’s just Aleix being himself, naturally speaking about both the positives and negatives," Rivola commented.

"I believe that Martin chose Aprilia because the company has shown steady growth over the years. This year, we are the only manufacturer besides his current Ducati team to have won races."

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