After a 2020 season in which it struggled to show the true potential of the RS-GP, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini sets to work this year with the aim of closing the gap to the other MotoGP manufacturers and finally being able to battle at the front with riders Aleix Espargaró and Lorenzo Savadori.
Aprilia Racing technical director Romano Albesiano confirms this: “From a technical point of view, this year’s bike is an evolution of the 2020 model, with which we hope to be able to improve performance and close the gap that separated us from the front last season. Both Aleix and Lorenzo have been able to test the bike at Jerez with excellent results”.
"The aerodynamics are key"
“We have an extensive development plan for the season”, continues Romano. “It’s difficult to say which is the most important new element this year, because the competitiveness of the bike depends on all these factors combined. One fundamental aspect is the aerodynamics and we now have a second version of what we used last year”.
Albesiano then highlights the tracks at which we might see the full potential of the RS-GP: “As I’ve said, the bike has taken a step forward compared to that of last year. Tracks where we might see the full effects of this are Jerez, Mugello and Misano, circuit at which we’ve tested and where are riders are best able to express themselves with the bike”.
"We have a good rider line-up"
As for the riders, Albesiano expects big things from Aleix Espargaró: “We have a good rider line-up. Aleix has been with us for a few years now and we’ll try to do what we can to allow him to exploit his own potential and that of the bike. It’s Lorenzo’s first full season in MotoGP, but we’ve seen that he learns fast and is very quick. As for the test team, we’ll soon be able to confirm our new test rider, but our own riders will also work on development”.
Lastly, there is mention of 2022, when Aprilia will become a full factory team, breaking away from Gresini with which it has collaborated since 2015: “Although we’ll become a factory team in 2022, there won’t really be any big changes in terms of our work method. Even though we’ve relied on another team in recent years, we’ve always done everything as if we were an official team”.
Translated by Heather Watson