THE BRAND NEW 2020 APRILIA RS-GP CONFIRMS ITS PERFORMANCE IN QATAR
ALEIX CLOSES OUT HIS PRE-SEASON WITH A GOOD RACE SIMULATION
LOTS OF WORK ON THE NEW APRILIA V4 FOR BRADLEY SMITH
After the positive début at the Malaysia tests, anticipation was high for the RS-GP at this test on a new circuit, and the fledgling Italian V4 did not disappoint, confirming for riders and team the good performance demonstrated during the first outing. The three days of testing in Qatar were the final act before the world championship season opener scheduled for March eighth, on this same track.
For Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, the testing schedule was extremely intense. Aleix Espargaró and Bradley Smith, besides increasing their own confidence on the bike, worked a lot both to consolidate the technical base and to begin developing the RS-GP in race configuration, completely virgin terrain for a project that is less than four weeks old.
On the last day of tests, Aleix did a long run that left him very satisfied, having lapped with a nice pace in the mid and low 1'55s. His best time of the three days was 1'54.432.
Bradley tested a lot of different setups and electronics solutions, but since everything is new on the RS-GP 20, there are really no comparisons to be done, so it is just a matter of feeling out its reactions on the track. The Brit finished up with a best time of 1'55.916.
"These were three intense days. We did not turn a lot of laps, but we did a lot of work, also taking into account the inevitable hiccoughs that come with the youth of the RS-GP. Overall, we confirmed the potential that had already been seen in Malaysia on this track as well. Especially today in the race simulation: I was able to maintain a good pace. In fact, the feeling improved lap after lap. Now we’ll need to do a good job analysing the data over the next ten days and make the right choices, putting together a package that will allow us to be competitive already in the first race weekend. Aprilia wants it, I want it and I am confident that we will succeed."
"We did a good job. We concentrated first on testing functionality and then on a few development ideas, not only short-term, but also to give the engineers a direction for the evolutions in the coming months. On a completely new bike, every lap is as precious as gold. The first race on the calendar is just around the corner, and we need to speed up the growth process to have a good base to start from. In terms of the ride, I am pleased with the progress made concerning the pace, whereas I am still lacking a bit of confidence when it comes to doing a flying lap. That is not the most important thing right now, though."