08 Feb THE FIRST TESTS OF 2019 END ON A POSITIVE NOTE FOR APRILIA
8 February 2019
THE NEW RS-GP GROWS AT SEPANG WITH ALEIX, ANDREA AND BRADLEY
The first MotoGP test session of 2019 ends on a positive note for Aprilia. On its track début, the new RS-GP demonstrated encouraging growth, garnering positive feedback from all the riders who took it out.
After the shakedown entrusted to tester, Bradley Smith, whose work was praised by both Aleix and Andrea, the factory riders had the chance to assess the evolutions of the 2019 Aprilia prototype in the demanding conditions of the Malaysian track. Aleix expressed satisfaction, completing an encouraging race simulation and attempting a fast lap today, finishing with a time of 1’59.022 that placed him seventh in the final standings.
Andrea Iannone was able to count on a day of rest today, thanks to the contribution of test rider Bradley Smith, who put in an intense day of testing. The Italian rider, tired after a long antibiotic treatment and with the agreement of the team, chose not to take any risks after the good job done on the first two days, so he will turn up to the next tests in Qatar highly motivated.
“On the first two days, our work focused on getting to know the new bike and lapping on used tyres with good results, as the pace in the race simulation yesterday confirms. This morning, we set the bike up to try a time attack and I am rather satisfied with our time. We improved over the three days and I must say that I found a good feeling with the new bike. I am able to be aggressive and I feel at ease in terms of ergonomics too. This was definitely a positive first test. We have margins for improvement, but I know that the guys at Aprilia will keep working hard.”
“Even though it came after a course of antibiotics, we did two good days of work. Yesterday was especially important in terms of how many laps we turned and how we did them and because of how we began to make changes to the bike. This was my first test on this bike, and I can confirm that we have a lot of potential to explore. But the conditions here are hard even when you are at full fitness and, given the work we did and the fact that the test team was here, today we preferred to take a rest. We made the decision with the team, purely as a precaution. We’ll pick up where we left off in Qatar, hopefully at full fitness and certainly with much clearer ideas.”
“These were some very interesting tests. The guys at Aprilia improved the RS-GP and I think that at the end of this first outing, our level is decidedly encouraging. I’m pleased that what we did during the shakedown allowed Aleix to start from a good base. Seeing him lap at 1’59 brings great satisfaction for the entire team. I tried to give my best, conveying my sensations to the engineers, and I can’t wait to get back on the track in Qatar. First as a tester and then, on the race weekend, as a rider!”