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NASCAR outfit Trackhouse Racing set to become Aprilia MotoGP satellite team in 2024

NASCAR outfit Trackhouse Racing is close to becoming an Aprilia MotoGP satellite team for the 2024 season, taking over from RNF, Autosport has learned.

Raul Fernandez, RNF MotoGP Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

On Monday, Dorna Sports – MotoGP’s commercial rights holder – announced it would not be allowing RNF Racing to continue as a team on the grid next year.

Its statement said this was due to “repeated infractions and breaches of the Participation Agreement affecting the public image of MotoGP have obliged this decision”.

This follows on from reports during the Valencia Grand Prix weekend that the team – and specifically title partner and majority shareholder CryptoDATA – was in financial trouble and a takeover from an American firm was possible.

Former RNF team boss and director Razlan Razali told Autosport on Monday that he laid all of the blame for the team’s rejection from MotoGP at CryptoDATA’s door and confirmed that there were suppliers who had yet to be paid.

In Dorna’s statement, it noted that “the Selection Committee will be reviewing applications for a new Independent Team, using Aprilia machinery, to join the MotoGP class grid for 2024”.

Autosport has now learned that this will be Trackhouse Racing, an American team owned by Justin Marks and Armando Christian Perez AKA Pitbull.

Trackhouse made its NASCAR Cup Series debut at the 2021 Daytona 500 and has since scored five wins, as well as an historic victory in Chicago with Shane van Gisbergen this year.

Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images

Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Trackhouse will follow the official submission process to join the grid, renting out the two grid slots vacated by RNF, and will have to fulfil all of Dorna’s requirements to be seen as a viable option.

It will also have to do this with the backing of a manufacturer, which will be Aprilia.

Autosport understands that Trackhouse’s investors want the team to expand out of North America and onto the world stage, with the owners feeling MotoGP is the best place to do so.

A source close to Aprilia said an official announcement will come over the next few days, but that the Italian manufacturer – who won two grands prix in 2023 – is happy with the Trackhouse project.

Trackhouse will forge closer working ties with Aprilia than RNF had, with the source stating that the partnership from a technical level will be like Ducati has with Pramac.

Aprilia is working to provide one of the two riders – either Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez, who are contracted directly to the manufacturer – with a 2024 bike next year.

However, given the tight turnaround to get all of the resources together to create a third factory bike, this is not a guarantee.

Raul Fernandez, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Raul Fernandez, RNF MotoGP Racing

The Trackhouse project was due to be coming to the grid in 2025, but has now been accelerated because of the RNF issues – hence why there can be no commitment to two factory bikes next season.

The current RNF team is set to remain in place under the Trackhouse banner, given its knowledge of the Aprilia already from this year, while all of the commercial aspects of the outfit will be handled by the team.

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In Tuesday’s Valencia test, Raul Fernandez will be riding the Aprilia with official factory mechanics while the RNF team takes the winter off before being given new contracts with Trackhouse in the new year.

Autosport has reached out to Trackhouse for further comment.

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