15 November 2017
The post-race tests in Valencia after the end of the season always take on particular importance. In fact, they are the first step in the new championship season, both for any team changes and for technical upgrades.
The Aprilia camp has both variables. On one side of the garage, Aleix Espargaró worked primarily on the characteristics that will be introduced on the new RS-GP: different weight distribution and a new geometry with consequent ergonomic changes that will be analysed again in the next tests at Jerez before being implemented on the 2018 bike.
Alongside the Spanish rider, his new teammate Scott Redding took his first steps. The English rider used the two days to settle in with the RS-GP and the technical staff that will be following him, alternating track runs with long exchanges of opinions. Much time was also dedicated to adjusting the ergonomics of the bike to Scott’s build and anything that could not be adapted here in Valencia will obviously be implemented on the new version of the Aprilia MotoGP bike.
“In these tests we did not try many new components, but we primarily tested the changes to the bike’s geometry and weight distribution. These are ideas that we would like to introduce on the 2018 bike and we need to confirm them to figure out which direction to go. I can consider myself satisfied. After a difficult weekend, we showed that we can be fast. Now the Jerez tests will be important. It is a different track where we will continue our work in view of 2018. The bike that arrives in 2018 will not be revolutionized, but the riding and ergonomic characteristics will change, so moving in the right direction is fundamental.”
“These were two interesting days. There is a lot of work to do to adapt the RS-GP to my characteristics, starting with the dimensions. All the information we are gathering will obviously have an impact on the 2018 bike. For now, my goal is to gain familiarity with the bike’s character which is definitely different than what I was used to. Aleix is doing a great job and demonstrating Aprilia’s potential. I am confident because I feel like part of the project. The team gave me a fantastic welcome. I like their work methods and I have tried to give them the best possible feedback. Valencia is not my favourite track and hopping on a new bike after a race weekend is no simple task, so that’s why we worked without trying to do a time attack.”