The RNF MotoGP team moves from Yamaha to Aprilia as a partner in MotoGP. It involves a much deeper change than just the bike because there’s a whole new way of working – not least because there’s a Japanese manufacturer on one side and an Italian on the other, with the inherent disparities.
Malaysian team principal Wilco Zeelenberg told the press that there is already a noticeable difference in communication and culture/mentality – which he says is much more competitive and performance oriented immediately from Aprilia’s share:
– Yes of course. Communication is a little easier because if the Italians don’t speak English very well, the Japanese speak less English. But also understanding: it’s not just talking, but sometimes we don’t interpret each other very well. There is a difference in culture, that is known to us from the Japanese and that will never change. With the Italians it is clearly directly the competition, faster actions and understanding that there is a championship at stake and it is directly the performance.
When asked if he would be visiting Aprilia’s competition department during the break, Zeelenberg confirmed: ‘I will go there, but not to meet people – it’s just for work issues and to understand the business and we have to build the bikes. There is a lot of work to do’.