FIRST DAY OF TESTS AT SEPANG APRILIA DÉBUTS THE 2019 RS-GP GOOD SENSATIONS STRAIGHT AWAY FOR ESPARGARÓ AND IANNONE
The first day of MotoGP tests on the Malaysian Sepang track marked the resuming of operations for both factory riders after the winter break. After the initial fine-tuning work, done by tester Bradley Smith on this same track over the past few days, Aprilia provided the two primary riders with the new 2019 RS-GP.
From Aleix’s 55 laps and Andrea’s 36, the first impressions on the latest arrival from Noale were drawn. The bike is obviously still a “blank slate”, but the two riders were in agreement on their opinion that it is a step forward compared to the version that finished out the last championship, which both of them rode in the Valencia and Jerez tests after last season. At the end of the day, the times were 2’00.602 for Espargaró and 2’01.249 for Iannone.
The work schedule will continue tomorrow and Friday.
"Once again, as has always been the case in recent seasons, I am arriving at these first tests in good shape, but on this track and in these weather conditions, the MotoGP is truly very demanding. I am pleased with this first day. We turned a lot of laps with the new bike and I found a good feeling. It is lighter, more agile and behaves well in braking. There is work to be done, that is clear, especially coming out of turns, and right now, this is the phase where we need to focus our efforts."
"I'm a bit low on energy due to antibiotics I've been taking, but I am pleased enough with the work done on this first day. I know that we need to grow and I am fully focused on giving the right indications to the techs. I must say that the guys at Aprilia have done a good job. Despite the little time that has passed, they have improved the bike compared to the tests at the end of last year. We have only just begun, but we have rather clear ideas. Development will require an extra effort from the entire team, defining the priorities on which to focus our work."