Aleix Espargarò gets to grips with Aprilia MotoGP machine
Final efforts for Aprilia before the winter break, three days of testing on the Spanish Jerez de la Frontera track
Aleix Espargarò and Sam Lowes were back in the saddle of their RS-GP machines, just a few days after their first contact in Valencia, for a final series of preliminary tests for the development of the bike from Veneto in view of 2017.
The less than ideal weather partially complicated the job for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, enough to force the team and riders to stop early because of the rain.
The two sides of the garage had different goals. Aleix Espargarò continued gathering data and information that will be used by the Noale Racing Department in defining the RS-GP in its 2017 configuration.
The Spanish rider identified a good base on which to build from now until the next tests in Malaysia.
Marcus Eschenbacher – Aleix Espargaro’s Crew Chief
“We are heading into the winter break with good sensations. Aleix confirmed what he demonstrated in Valencia, both in terms of performance and harmony with the RS-GP. We have identified a rather precise technical direction to accommodate his riding style and during the winter we will work on bringing a further advanced bike to the first tests at Sepang. The weather did not help us and we also had a crash, but we can look forward to the 2017 season optimistically.”
Sam Lowes, visibly suffering after his crash in Valencia, was unable to push too hard astride his RS-GP, so he took advantage of the three days to get to know the team better, also benefiting from the comments made by his more expert garage mate.
Giulio Nava – Sam Lowes’ Crew Chief
“Sam is suffering from the after-effects of his crash in Valencia, but he put himself to the test anyway at Jerez to continue growing. We have a long season ahead of us, so for the moment it is important to rack up the miles in the saddle and get to know the mechanisms of the team. Despite his physical difficulties, I think these tests added another notch in the belt for Sam’s apprenticeship. I’m sure that in Malaysia his potential will begin to show. We can’t consider the times from these tests as any real indication.”
Even with the early stop, Aleix did 80 laps with his best stopping the clock at 1’39.675, whereas Sam’s best time was 1’42.312 of his 50-lap total.