Trackhouse Racing Introduces 2024 MotoGP Team In Los Angeles

Trackhouse Racing Introduces 2024 MotoGP Team In Los Angeles

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By Michael Gougis.

At a boutique hotel in the heart of Hollywood, the U.S.-based Aprilia squad Trackhouse Racing on Friday unveiled the livery for the RS-GP machines the team will use in MotoGP competition during the 2024 season.

In addition to Trackhouse founder and owner Justin Marks, a former NASCAR racer and owner of a NASCAR team, riders Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez were on hand, as well as former and current Grand Prix racers. They were joined by Massimo Rivola, CEO of Aprilia Racing, as well as Wilco Zeelenberg, the former 250cc Grand Prix racer who is the team manager for Trackhouse.

Wayne Rainey, a three-time 500cc Grand Prix World Champion and now President of MotoAmerica, and 1993 500cc Grand Prix World Champion Kevin Schwantz were both on hand, representing the period of Grand Prix racing that was utterly dominated by American riders. From 1978 to 1993, Americans won 13 of 16 500cc Grand Prix titles.

Trackhouse is based in North Carolina, but the satellite team will operate out of Noale, Italy, in conjunction with the Aprilia racing department. Oliveira will start the season on a 2024 RS-GP, while Fernandez will start racing on the 2023 version of the machine and transition to a 2024 during the season. Oliveira is a multi-time MotoGP winner with KTM, and Fernandez is a multi-time winner in Moto2 and runner-up in the Moto2 World Championship in 2022.

Trackhouse Racing Aprilia
The livery for the Trackhouse Racing Aprilia RS-GP machines for the 2024 season reflects the team’s American heritage. Miguel Oliveira will ride the 2024 version, while Raul Fernandez will start with the 2023 machine that won two races last year. Photo by Michael Gougis.

Marks said the opportunity to get involved in MotoGP came about much more quickly than expected, but when told it was now or never by the leaders of Dorna, he jumped at the chance. The CryptoData RNF MotoGP Team was imploding, and the satellite Aprilias that RNF ran – and their grid slots – were available if Trackhouse was willing to move immediately.

“We went to the MotoGP race in Austria,” Marks said. “We went there as a NASCAR team to see what MotoGP was like, to see if we could learn something about making our team a little bit better, to take some inspiration. That was five months ago.

“When I was talking to Carmelo and Carlos (Ezpeleta, CEO and Chief Sporting Officer of Dorna Sports, respectively), they said they would love to have us in MotoGP. I said I know there’s a lot to learn. Let’s look at 2025. Give me a year, in 2024 we’ll take a year, go to races, meet people, learn everything. They said, the door’s open right now and I can’t tell you how long it’s going to be open. It was a ready, fire, aim moment for Trackhouse. We have a lot of exciting things ahead of us and we’re excited.”

“We are super excited, and we share their vision,” Rivola said.

Rainey and Schwantz talked about how important having an American team in Grand Prix racing is for the sport in the U.S.

“Grand Prix racing is something that’s almost been forgotten about here,” Schwantz said. “It’s a great stepping stone. There’s so much talent here in America that could race on the world stage. They just don’t have the manufacturer support to get it done. To have someone like Trackhouse who is focused on racing here – it’s big.”

“I think it’s really exciting news,” Rainey said. “This had to happen. Trackhouse gets to grow their brand, and it will help raise awareness of Grand Prix racing here in the U.S.”

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