Aprilia Racing, the technical flagship for the Piaggio Group have struck a multi-year partnership deal with lubricant giant Gulf for their MotoGP campaign. However, this may not be much of a surprise as both marques have been working together for the last two years in the World Superbike Championship. Hence, a step-up to MotoGP was probably on the cards.
Gulf motorcycle lubricants cover a wide array of vehicles from scooters and small-capacity bikes all the way up to track-focused superbikes. In addition, Gulf are no newcomers to motor sport, with a long history of partnerships with a number of racing teams, both motorcycles, and cars. The company has been known to use motor sport to help develop and test new products, and this new partnership with Aprilia Racing helps Gulf move towards a brighter future in sports.
Aprilia Racing, on the other hand, is going through their final pre-season development and testing. The team brought in former Ferrari Sporting Director, Massimo Rivola, to head Aprilia Racing and have signed two new crew chiefs. Furthermore, the team has quite the riding talent within their camp, with promising Spaniard Aleix Espargaro, and the one and only ‘Maniac Joe’ Italian Andrea Iannone, with Briton Bradley Smith on testing duty.
“The opportunity to move up into MotoGP, as a major partner of Aprilia Racing was a logical next step forward after World Superbikes,” explains Gulf Vice President International, Frank Rutten. He added, “Aprilia is one of the most successful racing marques of all time while Gulf, of course, has a long history of success in motorsport. Making the move up to Grand Prix racing with a manufacturer that we know matches our ethos of quality, endurance, and passion and our desire for progress.”
Aprilia Racing CEO, Massimo Rivola, said, “We are delighted to be forging this new partnership with Gulf. It is an iconic brand with an impressive range of products and a great racing history. We look forward to writing the next chapter in this history over the coming years. I am very pleased to have Gulf working with Aprilia Racing in our upcoming MotoGP campaigns and it will be exciting to see these two great brands moving forward together.”
Story: Zal Cursetji