Aprilia Racing, Noale, 23 February 2018 – The 2018 Motogp season is by now just around the corner and preparations are underway in earnest in the Aprilia Racing Department to refine the new RS-GP before the Championship opener. One of the development steps, after the new prototype made its début in the Sepang tests at the end of January, concerns aerodynamics. This is a topic that has gained notoriety thanks to the appearance of winglets, a visible and obvious part, but one that is the subject of constant research.
Aprilia's work was conducted on a day of tests in the Perugia University wind tunnel, in Italy, and it involved both riders. Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding tackled the aerodynamic tests upon their return from the tests in Thailand in mid-February. The results of the tunnel findings are providing the base for the evolutions that will be applied to the 2018 RS-GP.
ROMANO ALBESIANO, APRILIA RACING MANAGER: "Aerodynamic research has by now become an integral part of development on a modern MotoGP bike. Not only in terms of the winglets, which are the most visible expression of it, but because on an extremely level playing field, every little detail becomes a determining factor. Aleix and Scott have extremely different physical characteristics, which therefore require diversified aerodynamic refinements in order to optimize efficiency.
The tests in the wind tunnel are just a part of the aerodynamics study, which also consists in computer simulations and checks that are conducted directly on the track. We will bring a first version of the aerodynamics package for the 2018 RS-GP to Qatar, whereas a second evolution will be planned once the season is underway."
THE NEW APRILIA...NO LONGER HAS A LID ON THE FUEL TANK: THE CHANGE WAS FIRST SEEN AT SEPANG, A THE FIRS TESTS OF THE NEW RS-GP 2018.
ON APRILIA.COM: SKY SPORT OFFICIAL VIDEO-THE TECHNICAL NEWS OF THE RS-GP 2018 IN SEPANG.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE VIDEO. Speaker: “Paolo Bonora, the Aprilia project leader, tells us about the construction features of the new motorbike”. Paolo Bonora: “We were mainly concerned with weight distribution and the position of the seat. It’s substantially identical to the seat on last year’s bike, but has been broadened, enabling the rider to assume a more correct position on the straight. The position in the centre of a bend has been facilitated, so the rider has greater agility of movement and can take the bend more aggressively. What did this redistribution of the weights, the new balance mean? It meant a different fuel tank, the most obvious feature is that the filler neck has been moved from the centre front to below the saddle, but above all it enabled us to significantly enlarge the area available for the airbox. This was another request from the riders, to have a different torque curve and a bit more power. We’ve kept the linearity and smooth fuel delivery of the engine, but were able to boost performance and cut consumption. This fairing is still a prototype, an evolution from 2017 but it’s not the final version. That will be based on this type of wing, but will be an evolution, an optimization.”
Paolo Bonora, Aprilia Racing MotoGP Project Leader, describes the first 2018 evolution activities on the RS-GP project: "Given the data collected over the past season and in keeping with the suggestions provided by the riders, we came up with guidelines for the evolution of the new bike. Two of the objectives for the development of the Aprilia RS-GP 2018 were to focus the mass near the centre of gravity and to change the distribution of weight. These changes affected the entire bike, with several core components being moved and redesigned. The fuel tank, for example, has a different shape compared to 2017 and it was physically impossible to keep the lid in the traditional position, which is why on the new RS-GP, access to the fuel tank is provided from behind the saddle.”