SAM LOWES AND ALEIX ESPARGARÒ ON THE TRACK FOR THE FIRST TESTS OF THE NEW SEASON
On the track where the 2016 MotoGP Championship ended, the first tests of the new season got underway. Astride the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini RS-GP machines were Sam Lowes and Aleix Espargarò, the former making his début in the category and the latter making contact for the first time with the prototype from Veneto.
For Sam, who had already tested the Aprilia RS-GP during the 2016 season on a path of gradual refinement, the tests ended early. In fact, on the first day the English rider was the unlucky victim of a crash. The violent impact with the barriers left him in pain and, although the medical checks did not show any injuries, the rider and the team preferred to suspend the test session. Sam put in 63 laps before the crash, stopping the clock at 1’33.359 on his best one.
It was a good début for Aleix Espargarò, who finished with the ninth best time (1'30.885) in the combined standings for the two days, where he did 122 laps.
MARCUS ESCHEMBACHER - CREW CHIEF FOR ALEIX ESPARGARÒ
“We can consider ourselves satisfied with these first tests. Aleix found a good feeling with the bike straight away, especially liking the stability and the electronics package. No particular critical issues came up and this confirms the solidity of the base package on which we will continue developing. He was fast, but more than anything, he was very analytical and precise in expressing his feelings in the saddle. This is information that will be fundamental for the racing department in developing the new RS-GP".
GIULIO NAVA - CREW CHIEF FOR SAM LOWES
"Sam is a very fast rider in his rookie year in a demanding category like MotoGP, so at the moment it is essential for him to build experience both in terms of riding the bike and the way the team works. Yesterday we set up the day to work on this, without making any drastic changes to the settings. Unfortunately, partly because of the low asphalt temperatures in the afternoon, he had a bad slide in one of the braking sections. We made the decision to stop together. In a few days we will be on the track again at Jerez and we will pick up where we left off as we approach the new season".