Good debut for the new 2020 Aprilia RS-GP at the Sepang Tests
Posted on Feb 09, 2020 by Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
The three anxiously awaited days of the début finally arrived and left everyone in the Aprilia garage happy. The 2020 Aprilia RS-GP, the project which revolutionised the MotoGP bike from Noale over the winter, proved to be a clear step forward compared with the 2019 version right from the shakedown entrusted to Bradley Smith.
Arriving in Malaysia without ever having seen a track, the bike was immediately competitive, especially in the hands of Espargaró who, already from the first day, was consistently faster than his reference times on the Sepang track, placing consistently among the protagonists of the tests and finishing with a best lap of 1’58.694.
The 2020 RS-GP arrived in Malaysia after a labour-intensive schedule of milestones which has Aprilia Racing staff working non-stop for the entire winter. For this reason, it took to the track with all the names of the women and men in the racing department who made this goal possible on its fairings. It was an enormous effort which revolutionised the RS-GP project and which was rewarded by the first responses from the track.
It is just a first step. The bike still needs to be completely “done”, but the potential for growth seems to be there. In addition to Espargaró and Smith, and in the hopes of having Andrea Iannone back in the saddle soon, Lorenzo Savadori was on the track after first gaining familiarity with the category during the shakedown days astride the 2019 version of the RS-GP and then throwing a leg over the 2020 model on the first day of testing.
"These were six important days of testing for us. We took a completely revamped RS-GP out onto the track and I am pleased with the way things went. Aleix’s times demonstrate the quality of the project. Now we have a lot of refinements to do which is inevitable for a new bike. During these tests, we focused on getting to know the 2020 RS-GP, rather than experimenting with the setup, but already in the base configuration, the results were decisively encouraging."