IN MALAYSIA, ESPARGARÓ AND REDDING IMPROVE FEELING AND TIMES
After the first and promising contact with the 2018 version Aprilia RS-GP, work in the Italian garage continued with the goal of exploring the potential offered by the new bike and testing some of the available technical solutions in order to define which package to take to the first race of the season.
After today's 47 laps, Aleix Espargaró confirmed his initial sensations with a positive assessment of the progress made. After a few start simulations at the beginning of the day, the Spanish rider tested various tyres and a different swingarm, increasing his feeling with the new bike lap after lap. His best time of 1'59.925, just 570 thousandths behind the best time on the sheets, is an indicator of the hard work done by rider and team.
Scott Redding also improved his sensations, although his progress was slowed a bit by chattering. The new Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider and his team will be focusing on this aspect for the final day of testing.
"The tests today demonstrated how competitive MotoGP is: with just a half a second gap, I am out of the top 10. In any case, I am very pleased with the way we are working. I only lapped with the 2018 bike and I must say that the improvements are clear. Especially in terms of the chassis architecture, Aprilia has developed the RS-GP following my requests and cornering performance has benefited from that. We still have room to improve, for example in acceleration, but the base on which we will begin the season will be even further evolved, so I cannot help but to be optimistic."
"We improved compared to yesterday, both in terms of times and my feeling with the new bike. The biggest limitation right now is chattering at the front which keeps me from making further progress. We did a few tests, but evidently we need a radical change. I can feel that the bike can be faster and Aleix is demonstrating that. Now we'll analyse the data and decide what to try tomorrow."