PAIN STOPPED ANDREA IANNONE WHO ATTEMPTED A STOIC RETURN TO THE SADDLE; IT IS CONFIDENT TO RETURN TO THE TRACK IN THE NEXT GP OF LE MANS ON 19 MAY 2019.
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 6 May 2019 – It was an important day of testing today on the Spanish Jerez de la Frontera circuit, with all the MotoGP riders on the track. Two Aprilias were kept busy, Aleix Espargaró’s factory bike and the test team’s bike with Bradley Smith, whereas Andrea Iannone attempted to get back in the saddle but had to throw in the towel because of the pain. Aleix was the first rider on the track from the first seconds of the tests and he carried out a plethora of tests during the 80 laps total that he turned. The tests involved engine torque management, weight distribution, various traction control configurations and a brand new rear suspension setup. The Spanish rider finished the session with a best lap of 1'37,758.
It was a highly intense schedule for Bradley Smith as well, turning 82 laps, the fastest of which in 1'38.077. The Aprilia test team’s operations focused on new components, different setups and the assessment of a few Michelin tyre solutions.
Still dealing with the after-effects of his crash in FP4 Saturday, which prevented him from taking part in the race, Andrea Iannone was loath to give in and tried to get back in the saddle today after receiving the all-clear from the doctor. Unfortunately, the lack of strength caused by pain in his left foot kept him from shifting gears properly, so the rider and team decided to stop testing straight away to give the foot as much time as possible to heal. Comforted by the good sensations he had in FP4 and the great job done by teammate Aleix, Andrea stated that he is confident in anticipation of Le Mans, next 19 May 2019.
ALEIX ESPARGARO' (bike n. 41): "This day of testing was very important for us. In fact, I was the first one out on the track. We worked non-stop, both in anticipation of Le Mans and to continue development on the RS-GP.
As always when testing, some solutions return better results than others. It will be essential to carefully analyze the data collected today to decide which line to follow in the upcoming rounds."
BRADLEY SMITH (bike n. 38): "It was a rather busy day. We worked on three fronts: the hard front tyre, which we confirmed as the right choice for our bike on this track, weight distribution and some components we needed to evaluate in terms of performance and reliability.
Since I got close to Andrea’s and Aleix’s performance, the feeling is that I can contribute to overcoming the limits that the factory riders are highlighting. It is not an easy process. It takes time, but we have a structure capable of doing it. I think that in the coming months we’ll be able to make some targeted changes in our weaker areas."
ANDREA IANNONE (bike n. 29): "I tried, but I was lacking strength in my foot to shift gears. It’s a pity because I would have liked to use the day of testing to confirm the positive note on which we had begun to work in FP4 where, before the crash, I was doing rather well. We received some confirmation from Aleix in the race and that is definitely positive. From tomorrow I’ll begin my recovery, but I am sure that I’ll be able to be at 100% for the Le Mans weekend."