From the start of 2021, Aprilia has grown a lot, the RS-GP almost always competitive in the hands of Aleix Espargaró. Romano Albesiano, technical director for the Noale manufacturer, has talked to website motogp.com: “The first half of the season has been very positive, the bike has immediately demonstrated positive characteristics, in terms of the engine, its stability, braking capacity and acceleration”.
Aleix, the main man
The Catalan rider has been in Aprilia colours since 2017 but this is his best season to date. “Aleix is in great shape”, comments the Italian engineer. “It’s a positive evolution. He has better feeling with the bike and is confident. Everything’s working rather well”. So much so that Aleix put Aprilia on the front row at the Sachsenring, in third place, while the rider has often battled in the leading group during races.
The improvements made to the bike
From a technical standpoint Albesiano explains: “In recent years the racing department’s potential has really grown and various developments have taken place. We’ve grown in many areas, including aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, the electronics”. Without forgetting about power: “We’ve also grown in terms of the engine, but during the last two seasons we made two radical changes and suffered a little, having to start from scratch each time. In any case, the engine configuration we have now has great potential. And something better will come in the future”.
Aleix Espargaró’s best result to date has been sixth, and Albesiano has this to say: “The top riders are all very close, it’s not easy to identify any one area in which we’re losing. We record a lot to understand where we need to improve. The more power you have, the better of course, but this doesn’t always work. For example, it’s not the case at the Sachsenring or Assen. It’s more about small details”.
Dovi’s role in Aprilia’s growth
This year has also brought collaboration with Andrea Dovizioso: “It’s a very positive experience. He’s a very intelligent rider, he understands how the bike works but, at the same time, doesn’t want to be the engineer of the situation. His experience has really helped us. Of the three tests we’ve completed, one was basically a write-off due to bad weather, but during the other two he provided some very important feedback. It’s a real pleasure to work with him”.
Translated by Heather Watson