MOTOGP – THE APRILIAS GROW IN THE QATAR TESTS – Gresini Racing
24 February 2019
HARD WORK AND AN IMPROVEMENT IN TIMES FOR BOTH ESPARGARÓ AND IANNONE
BRADLEY SMITH CONTINUES HIS WORK ON DEVELOPMENT OF THE RS-GP
On the second day of MotoGP preseason tests in Qatar, the Aprilia RS-GP machines made rather clear improvements compared to yesterday but – more importantly – Espargaró and Iannone and their teams were able to move forward with their scheduled work on the Italian V4. For both of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders, the day was focused on dialling in the chassis architecture and finding the best race pace feeling. It was an intense schedule that did not hinder a test on a new aerodynamic solution as well, taken out on track by Andrea.
In the end, Aleix turned 55 laps, doing a time of 1’55.173 which earned him sixth place on the time sheets for the day, whereas Andrea did 35 laps with a best time of 1’55.698, almost 8 tenths better than he did yesterday.
Bradley Smith (48 laps and a time of 1’57.137) and the test team continued development of the young 2019 RS-GP, also testing various winglet configurations and working on setup solutions on the electronics that will be made available to the two factory riders.
“I am satisfied overall. We managed to improve a lot compared to yesterday. I feel more at ease with the 2019 RS-GP although I must admit that there is still margin for improvement, especially in terms of my feeling, for example in the braking phase, where I take a few too many risks. But you also need to consider that this is our second test with the new bike. I learn something with every outing and the mechanics gather more information that lets us perfect the setting. Tomorrow will be a fundamental day, the last before the race weekend. We’ll try a simulation to have a clearer idea of our level as compared to our rivals.”
“Our priority right now is to get to know the bike better, improving step by step. We improved compared to yesterday, but we need to keep pushing hard and make the right choices, especially in terms of setup. There is obviously always something that doesn’t give us the results we expect, but we take that as another bit of information that helps us improve. As I said yesterday, we have good potential and the job is to make it consistent throughout race distance in order to maintain a good pace from start to finish.”
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