Aprilia technical director Luigi dall'Igna says it is unlikely that his company will return to MotoGP when the new rules come into effect in 2012. The Italian manufacturer won this year's World Superbike title with former MotoGP star Max Biaggi.
The new MotoGP regulations will allow teams to run with production-based 1000cc engines, leading to rumors that some current Superbike manufacturers might be tempted into MotoGP next year. But dall'Igna has played down the chance of Aprilia joining the grand prix field under the "claiming rule."
"You need to consider that Aprilia is a manufacturer that has reaped a lot of success in the series it has participated in," he told Motosprint. "To race in a world championship with a bike that is not on the same level as our rivals is not the right spirit to face such an important commitment, so I think that in 2012 we won't be in the world motorcycling elite, and we won't participate in MotoGP."
Aprilia last competed in MotoGP in 2004. It retains a presence in the grand prix series in 125cc, which it currently dominates.