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RNF Aprilia rubbishes talk of dropping Raul Fernandez for MotoGP 2024

Raul Fernandez, RNF Racing, Aprilia RS-GP, 2023 MotoGP, British MotoGP, Silverstone, action [credit - Gold & Goose]

RNF Racing boss Razlan Razali has poured cold water on speculation his rider Raul Fernandez is under threat from losing his seat in the satellite Aprilia team for the 2024 MotoGP season.

The young Spaniard made his debut with Tech 3 KTM last season after finishing runner-up to Remy Gardner in the Moto2 World Championship the previous year, but endured a tough rookie year before switching to RNF Aprilia.

However, it has been a chastening season for the 21-year old to date once again, even if the British MotoGP did yield his first-ever MotoGP top ten finish.


>>> 2023 MotoGP World Championship Standings <<<

As such, paddock chatter has raised the notion that his seat could be under threat with the likes of Tony Arbolino, Aron Canet and Jake Dixon being tacitly linked to replacing him.

However, team owner Razali has played this notion down, going as far to say Fernandez has a ‘2+2’ contract that could take him through to the end of the 2026 MotoGP season with the team

“Raul is only in his second year,” he told the RNF Unlocked Podcast. “He had a terrible first year with KTM. In theory with a young rider you need a minimum of two years [in the same team] to give them a chance. To just get rid of them after one year is not correct."

“Okay, it happened to us with Darryn [Binder], but that was an exceptional circumstance because he had signed with Yamaha and we then switched to Aprilia.

“We had a meeting with Aprilia last week. No doubt, he probably hears stories about people coming to approach us and, yes, there’s been a number of riders who came to talk to us.

“So number one, we confirmed at the meeting with Aprilia that [Raul] needs more time. So he shouldn’t worry.

“That is something that we have communicated to Raul as well: ‘Don’t worry, because you have a contract with Aprilia for at least two years, with an option for another two years’.

“So that should not distract him, just focus on the job and don’t pressure himself."

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