Aprilia must “give everything” to be more competitive in the 2018 season or consider abandoning its MotoGP project, according to its lead rider Aleix Espargaro.
KTM has invested substantially in its first season in MotoGP, highlighting the difference with Aprilia – which returned to MotoGP in 2015 in a tie-up with Gresini.
Aprilia is only 11 points ahead of KTM in the standings with six rounds remaining.
“Now it’s the moment for Aprilia to show what they are able to do in MotoGP,” Espargaro told Autosport.
“We are very close to Yamaha, Honda and Ducati.
“Now we have to give everything or quit.
“What is clear is we can’t stay competing half-heartedly.
“Next season must be taken seriously because we have a chance to progress.
“In 2018 Aprilia has to demonstrate what is able to do because if not, this project makes no sense.
“KTM and the other manufacturers are investing a lot.”
The 2017 season started well for Aprilia, as Espargaro matched the its best-ever MotoGP finish of sixth in the season-opener in Qatar.
Since then the RS-GP has been plagued by unreliability, with Espargaro’s fifth non-finish of the season coming at Silverstone last month due to an engine problem.
“The factory is working hard, and we cannot ask them to be at the same level of Honda, Yamaha and Ducati in two or three years,” Espargaro added.
“Nonetheless, we have to pull ourselves together, as it will be very difficult to fight against them with a much weaker bike.”