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Akrapovic Marks 20 Years of MotoGP Involvement

Akrapovic is commemorating a special anniversary this year: 2022 marks 20 years since the Slovenian company’s entry into the highest echelon of two-wheel racing and its first foray into MotoGP.

Akrapovic already had a firm foothold in four-stroke motorcycle racing through its involvement in the German Pro Superbike and WorldSBK championships, which saw the latter field all Japanese factory bikes and one Italian works team with Akrapovic exhaust systems in 1999. This technical knowhow made for a logical move into MotoGP when the FIM regulations allowed four-stroke engines into the championship, and this opened the door for Akrapovic to enter the premier class of circuit-based road racing. In 2002 Akrapovic initially supplied exhaust systems to the Aprilia factory team and then Kawasaki later in the season, before cooperating with Suzuki, Yamaha, KTM, Ducati, and others in the ensuing years, leading to the present, when 75% of the current regular grid, including four factory teams – Ducati Lenovo Team, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and Team Suzuki Ecstar – use Akrapovic exhaust systems on their prototype race bikes.

Akrapovic’s involvement in MotoGP is much more than sponsorship or a product placement exercise: it is a pure development partnership with every team. It is a cooperation that sees every exhaust developed and prepared new each year, with a number of major updates throughout the season and anything up to 30 minor ones as the season progresses. Each exhaust is designed in cooperation with factory racing teams by experienced engineers led by Slavko Alojz Trstenjak, the head of Racing R&D at Akrapovic. With more than two decades of experience with various MotoGP power units, ranging from the Aprilia three-cylinder, Kawasaki in-line 4, KTM V4, and Honda V5 to today’s engines, teams and factories come to Akrapovic for its expertise to help them develop their bikes with new exhaust system solutions. These partnerships have yielded success, including world championships for Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in 2012 and 2015, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in 2020, and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in 2021. The titles in 2012 and 2021 also saw the Slovenian company take a clean sweep at the Grand Prix level, with Akrapovic-equipped bikes winning the MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 titles.

To commemorate this significant event in Akrapovic’s history, MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports has prepared a special video about the two decades of Akrapovic in the premier class of Grand Prix racing. The video can be seen HERE.



Slavko Alojz Trstenjak, Head of Akrapovic Racing R&D:

“The 20 years that we’ve been involved with MotoGP have seen big changes in the development and production of our exhaust systems. New solutions and techniques have been employed, and our experience has grown. We’re constantly training engineering staff and installing and developing new equipment and methodologies, such as the in-house titanium foundry, where very complex parts are made. Our use of complex materials has evolved because exhaust systems are getting more and more complex, leading to active systems equipped with built-in valves to control and regulate the effect of engine braking.

“Exhaust system development in MotoGP has made the systems smaller and lighter and – unlike in the beginning, when we used to have a system design on paper and construct it on a bike – we now plan and design everything on computer, with the final product being designed in a 3D environment, with the only access to a bike coming in the prototyping phase for testing and specification requirements.

“We’ve all been delighted to take Akrapovic on this journey with the world’s best in MotoGP, and we’re looking forward to many years to come.”