Moto2 World Championship candidate Marco Bezzecchi has revealed he turned down the offer of moving into MotoGP for the 2021 season as a replacement for the suspended Andrea Iannone.
The Italian racer – who is one of four riders in contention for this year’s intermediate crown – emerged as a potential target for Aprilia once it was confirmed Iannone would not be competing next season in the wake of his ban for a positive drugs test.
Though Aprilia has been frozen out of the rider market by the late call and its primary target of Andrea Dovizioso has been scuppered, it has instead turned to Moto2 for options with both Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio being identified in speculation.
However, while Bezzecchi confirms talks took place and an offer was on the table, he says he decided to walk away from it in favour of sticking with his Sky Racing Italia VR46 team for a tilt at the 2021 Moto2 title instead.
“Aprilia came to me and they were pretty convinced about myself and this was very nice for me because I didn’t expect a MotoGP offer from anyone,” he told selected media in an interview arranged after winning the Triumph Triple Trophy as sponsored by the British marque in honour of its role as the control Moto2 engine supplier.
“We were close, but in the end I thought a lot in these days. We [would have] had to make some work to go to MotoGP, it was not an easy choice.
“So I thought about it a lot in these days and in Valencia I was still thinking about it because I didn’t know what to do.
“But at the end I thought it was better to stay one more year in Moto2 because I enjoy riding the bike and I feel good. Also, I think I staying one more year with the same team and the same bike is a chance to grow.
“I would like to stay one more year, try to make a good year and then if you get results then the opportunity for MotoGP comes.
“I am sorry for Aprilia because if they came a little earlier, the result could be different but in the end it is like this.”
Bezzecchi rejection gives Aprilia another headache as it considers who to target to join Aleix Espargaro for the 2021 MotoGP season. Beyond Bezzecchi, three of the top five in Moto2 are confirmed to be stepping up to MotoGP in 2021 – Enea Bastianini, Luca Marini and Jorge Martin – with the other, Sam Lowes, candidly laughing off any prospect of returning to the manufacturer he endured a terrible season with in 2017, saying he ‘definitely wouldn’t ride an Aprilia again’ in the pre-event press conference.
As such, Aprilia’s Massimo Rivola has hinted he could look towards WorldSBK for options with Chaz Davies, Loris Baz and Eugene Laverty all having MotoGP experience but remain without deals for 2021.
Bezzecchi’s prize for winning the Triumph Triple Trophy – which bases its points on wins, fastest laps and pole positions – was a specially liveried Triumph Street Triple RS road bike which uses the same foundation of the 765cc engine as found in the Moto2 machines.