MotoGP: Aprilia “We’ll surprise you”. They aim for a top rider: Petrucci or Iannone?

The real surprise of Austin GP is represented by Aprilia. Aleix Espargaró scored a top-10 finish after starting from 19th place and he had been fast already in the Warm-Up session, where he ranked 5th. The team worked very hard in the wind tunnel and this, together with the new chassis, the new weight distribution and the better performing 2018-spec engine (“baptised” in Qatar), is finally bringing Aprilia good results.

ONE MORE STEP FORWARD AT AUSTIN – At Austin the Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding had to face once again chattering and grip issues and this prevented them from making it to Q2. But Warm Up and race went much better: “I could overtake on the straight and I was able to keep the same speed as Honda, Yamaha and Ducati” said Espargaró. Not everybody manages to climb nine positions during the race; moreover, the new engine provides more power on the straights and this makes Aleix very optimistic: “We will surprise you at many of the next races…To be honest, I’m not very happy with the 10th place scored at Austin, but this is anyway a very good result, if we consider that last year we had struggled a lot on this track (17th place, ed)”. A change in the setup made the rider felt comfortable again and this made him able to fight for the top 10 without making mistakes. In the final laps he tried to catch Rabat and Miller, but tyres were consumed and so he had to content with P10. “I’m looking forward to racing in Europe, because I’m sure it will go even better. I think the level of me, the team and the bike is much higher than everybody believes. We have to analyse every single thing carefully, but after the first two sessions we found out that there was no weight on the front, because I lost it many times and at the corners I wasn’t able to turn properly”. Hard tyre turned out to be the best choice and so it was possible to exploit the engine without fuel consumption issues.

APRILIA LOOKS AT 2019 – After the GP Aprilia spent one more day at Austin to test some new solutions. Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager, revealed some of the things they’re working on: “We spent the whole day testing many new components such as a new steering plate and a new fuel system, but we cannot enumerate them all. At Mugello, or maybe earlier, we will test the carbon swingarm”. The carbon swingarm is expected to grant more rear grip.  Aprilia is also working quietly for 2019 season and it looks like they really have big plans. The best solution would be an Italian top rider and so Aprilia is waiting for the right moment to sign a “great forgotten”. His name could be Danilo Petrucci or Andrea Iannone, if their negotiations with Ducati and Suzuki failed. Let’s see what happens…


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