APRILIA PREPARES FOR ITS 2019 SEASON WITH ESPARGARÓ, IANNONE AND SMITH
The preparatory work for the 2019 season continued today in the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini garage, busy on the second and final day of tests in Valencia.
Aleix Espargaró focused on comparing the two different engine configurations and two chassis solutions, with the goal of defining the 2019 development base. The analysis will also continue in the next tests in Jerez, where the Spanish rider will be able to put the new solutions to the test on a track with different characteristics. Aleix did his best time at 1'31.400 on lap 37 out of 55 total, good enough to earn him tenth place in the rankings.
It was the second day of work for Andrea Iannone as well who was able to carry out a series of comparative tests, lapping both with the 2018 configuration bike and the more recent evolution that the team had used in the latest races. The Italian rider continued his apprenticeship, working primarily on adapting the RS-GP to his riding characteristics. He turned 32 laps today, with a best time of 1'32.124 and two crashes without any physical consequences.
There was plenty of work for the Aprilia Racing Test Team, with two RS-GP machines entrusted to new-entry Bradley Smith. On today's 58 laps, the English rider mainly looked for a base setup on which to then work in the next tests, testing new components and technical solutions. His best lap stopped the clock at 1'33.028.
"We did a good job in these tests. Today I tried a new frame, also continuing the tests on the new engine that I had used yesterday. The feeling was good, although I want to try everything again in Jerez, which is a rather different track than this one and more indicative. We know well which areas we need to work on and the arrival of two new riders with a lot of experience helps us to focus our priorities. This will be a very demanding winter, because these two days confirmed the level of the championship that awaits - even higher than the season that just ended if that's possible."
"It was nice to do several laps with the new bike and the new team today. Our goal is first and foremost to gain familiarity with the RS-GP, find a base setup that will then allow us to better assess the various technical upgrades that we'll need to test as our experience grows. We worked a lot on the electronics and we made some slight changes to the suspension calibration, reaching a level where I am more at ease. I adapted rather quickly. I didn't struggle too much to find a good position in the saddle and I can't wait to get back on the track in Jerez to give the guys more information so we can prepare the 2019 bike as best as possible."