Aprilia Racing and Gulf aim for the top in MotoGP
Piaggio Group’s technical flagship, Aprilia Racing, has joined forces with global lubricant brand Gulf in a multi-year partnership deal for the world’s top motorbike racing championship. After two years working together in global motorcycle racing’s upper echelons – in the World Superbike Championship – Gulf and Aprilia Racing are making the step up into the pinnacle of motorbike racing, MotoGP, thanks to a new multi-year partnership. Gulf offers both fuel retail and in lubricants, boasting a wide product portfolio in all sectors from automotive to industrial.
“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. “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.”
“We are delighted to be forging this new partnership with Gulf,” states Aprilia Racing CEO, Massimo Rivola. “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.”
The Piaggio Group – for which Aprilia Racing is the technical flagship – is one of the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers, with more than 550,000 motorbikes per year sold across its brands, which also include Vespa, Gilera and Moto Guzzi, as well as Piaggio itself.
Gulf Motorcycle lubricants cover everything from scooters and small capacity motorcycles, to its dedicated range of Superbike oils. Gulf has long used motorsport as a means to help develop and test new product. This step into MotoGP with Aprilia Racing heralds a further drive towards superior-technology motorcycle product from Gulf, as it seeks to conquer new, emerging markets as well as to strengthen its position in existing markets.
Aprilia is concentrating hard on MotoGP development for 2019, looking to be regularly in the mix at the sharp end of the MotoGP field. To this end, in January, Piaggio brought in former Ferrari Sporting Director, Massimo Rivola to head up Aprilia Racing. With two new crew chiefs and a talented rider line up of Italian, Andrea Iannone, Spaniard Aleix Espargaro and Briton, Bradley Smith, Aprilia is putting more resource than ever before into making strides forward in this intensely competitive series.
The 19 race MotoGP calendar features races across five continents and the 2019 season starts on 10 March in Qatar.