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Raul Fernandez set to get 2024 Aprilia MotoGP bike at Jerez

Trackhouse MotoGP rider Raul Fernandez is poised to get his first taste of the 2024 Aprilia RS-GP at Jerez on Monday.

Raul Fernandez, Trackhouse Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Fernandez was the only rider within the Aprilia contingent to start the season with last year’s bike, with team-mate Miguel Oliveira getting the latest-spec machinery in 2024 following the takeover of RNF Racing by American outfit Trackhouse.

Originally, it had been communicated to Fernandez that he would move to the upgraded RS-GP at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, but his debut outing now has been pushed back until the post-race test at Jerez on Monday.

Aprilia has yet to confirm whether Fernandez will get to race with the new version of the RS-GP at the following round at Le Mans in France on 12 May.

"We are happy to be back in Europe with the iconic Jerez race which, this time, will be Raul's home race," Trackhouse team principal Davide Brivio.

"I'm excited to see how much more we can achieve in the coming races after the recent progress we made in Austin with both drivers.

"I don't think we showed our full potential in Austin and for that we need to be good in all areas over the weekend and optimize our performance. Let's see where we end up on Sunday. 

"Then we will have the test on Monday and if everything runs smoothly during the weekend, Raul will have the first opportunity to briefly test the 2024 bike."

Raul Fernandez, Trackhouse Racing Team

Raul Fernandez, Trackhouse Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The upgrade only covers the chassis side of the bike, with the regulations forcing the 24-year-old to stay with the same engine he started the season with.

He will continue to have the 2023 motor fitted to his new ‘24 bike, and so won’t have complete parity with team-mate Oliveira and factory Aprilia duo Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales during the season.

In the past, Aprilia’s satellite team RNF Racing always had to do with year-old equipment, but Trackhouse made a point of getting the latest-spec machinery from Aprilia following its entry into the MotoGP.

Although Trackhouse’s ambitions caught Aprilia by surprise, the company’s CEO Massimo Rivola got on well with the new management and agreed with the request to expand the supply of 2024 bikes.

Due to production difficulties and the limited timeframe, Aprilia could only have one additional 2024 bike ready for pre-season testing, which went to Oliveira.

However, it always maintained that it would be able to supply another 2024 version of the RS-GP for Fernandez by the middle of the year.

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