THE 2017 SEASON BEGINS IN SEPANG FOR APRILIA

THE 2017 SEASON BEGINS IN SEPANG FOR APRILIA

MotoGP

ALBESIANO: “A LOT OF NEWS, NOW WE KNOW WE HAVE A GOOD BASE ON WHICH TO WORK”

ESPARGARÒ: "VERY MOTIVATED BY A NEW AND GREAT CHALLENGE”

LOWES: "THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS TO GET TO KNOW THE MOTOGP BIKE"

The 2017 MotoGP season officially begins with the Sepang tests in Malaysia after a winter break that had the Racing Department busy developing the RS-GP, the bike that took to the track for the first time less than one year ago.

The good growth demonstrated by the first Aprilia pure-bred MotoGP (beginning with the exclusive narrow V4 engine) in the second half of last season has motivated the entire team to take a leap of quality. From a technical point of view, development followed to fundamental directives: the evolution of a base design that has proven to be extremely promising and the adaptation of the bike's characteristics to the requests made by the new Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders.

Aleix Espargaró, impressed by the performance of his RS-GP in the tests so far, acknowledged the strong points of the Aprilia prototype that are a good fit for his riding style without pointing out any particular critical issues. The primary objective for Sam Lowes, making his début in the premier category following a progressive path that began in 2016 in a few tests, is to increase his confidence on the bike and in the category. The English rider worked nonstop throughout the break so that he would be ready, physically and mentally, for this new challenge.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'


“I am highly motivated. 2017 will be a great challenge for us. I can't wait to test the RS-GP and see that changes that were made during the winter that will allow us to take another step forward compared with the first contacts in Valencia and Jerez. I know that the guys have done a lot of work based on my indications. Sepang will be an important test to see where we stand.”


SAM LOWES


“After the winter break, it is always very exciting to get back on the track for the first test. I can't wait to get back in the saddle because in Jerez I wasn't able to take full advantage of the time we had due to my injury. The team has worked hard over the winter and I was in Spain to train and get ready. My goal in Sepang is to continue improving and to increase my familiarity with the Aprilia MotoGP bike.”

ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER


"During the winter break, we were able to make tangible progress, meeting the needs expressed specifically by Aleix in the 2016 tests. We are in a different position than we were 12 months ago when the new bike made its début. Now we know that we have a good base on which to work. Sepang will be our first chance to check on what has been analysed and designed over the past months. The evolution of the RS-GP involved all aspects, both to adapt it to the new riders and to comply with the new technical regulations. As for the engine, we found some more torque at lower rpms, but without losing anything in terms of maximum power. Then we optimised all the components in terms of weight, stiffness and overall balance. There is a lot of news, so it will be essential to take full advantage of all the time we have on the track."


FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER


“As always, the first tests of the year in Malaysia give us the chance to see where we stand compared with our rivals. We are very enthusiastic to start the season because we know that Aprilia worked very hard during the winter and has various changes in store. In the November tests, Aleix gave us some good information straight away and development of the 2017 bike was based on that. In Sepang we will conduct several comparative tests with the 2016 RS-GP to better direct development. Sam, on the other hand, will continue his apprenticeship and the primary objective will be do a lot of kilometres, initially mainly on the 2016 bike. Compared with a year ago, we are starting with a more tried and true package, as well as more experience on the RS-GP, so we are quite confident!”