ESPARGARÓ AND REDDING APPROVE THE NEW 2018 RS-GP. ON THE APRILIA WEBSITE THERE IS THE SKY SPORT’S VIDEO ON THE TECHNICAL NEWS OF RS-GP.
Sepang, Malaysia, 30 January 2018 – The first event of the 2018 MotoGP season ended with a positive outcome for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. The new RS-GP, on the track for the first time in Sepang, satisfied both riders who were able to complete the entire testing schedule without any problems, increasing their feeling on the Italian V4 lap after lap. The margin for improvement is obviously all unexplored territory, but the impressions at the end of the tests tell the story of development in line with the information gathered throughout last season.
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 optimisation.”
For Aleix Epargaro’ this was a return to Malaysia a full year later, since he had to skip the race here in October due to the injury he suffered to his hand in Australia. The Spanish rider, who had approved the 2018 RS-GP straight away, dedicated all of his efforts to weaning the new bike on the second and third day. The feedback was positive both in terms of pace, a strong point of the RS-GP, but also and especially in terms of speed with a new tyre. The spark was lacking in the time attack, but the goals for this test were different and they were more than achieved.
Scott Redding worked a lot to find an optimum feeling with the new bike after chattering problems that arose on the second day. The various solutions tested began to show initial benefits and the information collected will now be analyzed for the next tests in order to optimize the technical package the British rider will have.
In terms of statistics, over the three days in Malaysia, Aleix Espargaró turned a total of 139 laps, the best of which in 1'59.925. 158 laps with a best time of 2'00.812 for teammate Scott Redding.
ALEIX ESPARGARO' (bike no. 41): "We can say that we got off on the right foot in 2018. I like the new bike. The guys at Aprilia did a great job, especially improving the chassis architecture, following my indications. I am able to be more aggressive on the brakes and my position in the saddle also fits better with my riding style.
Today I also tried a new traction control version that I found to be very good and on which we will continue to work. We'll take the next step with the evolution of the engine that will arrive for the Qatar tests. Constant development is essential because the competition this year will be even more heated."
SCOTT REDDING (bike no. 45): "To be honest, I'm rather satisfied with how the tests ended. We need time because simply moving the settings from the 2017 bike to the new one did not work for me, whereas Aleix was comfortable straight away. I had some chattering and grip problems that led us to do some experimenting in order to find the right direction for my needs and my riding style.
Of course, when you make significant changes, it's hard to find your top speed, but in any case I was able to improve day by day. These were fundamental tests for my knowledge of the bike and the relationship with the new team. The mechanics are beginning to understand my characteristics and what I like in terms of settings."
Sepang, Malaysia, 29 January 2018 – After the first and promising contact with the 2018 version Aprilia RS-GP, work in the Italian garage continued with the goal of exploring the potential offered by the new bike and testing some of the available technical solutions in order to define which package to take to the first race of the season.
After today's 47 laps, Aleix Espargaró confirmed his initial sensations with a positive assessment of the progress made. After a few start simulations at the beginning of the day, the Spanish rider tested various tyres and a different swingarm, increasing his feeling with the new bike lap after lap. His best time of 1'59.925, just 570 thousandths behind the best time on the sheets, is an indicator of the hard work done by rider and team. Scott Redding also improved his sensations, although his progress was slowed a bit by chattering. The new Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider and his team will be focusing on this aspect for the final day of testing.
ALEIX ESPARGARO': "The tests today demonstrated how competitive MotoGP is: with just a half a second gap, I am out of the top 10. In any case, I am very pleased with the way we are working. I only lapped with the 2018 bike and I must say that the improvements are clear. Especially in terms of the chassis architecture, Aprilia has developed the RS-GP following my requests and cornering performance has benefited from that. We still have room to improve, for example in acceleration, but the base on which we will begin the season will be even further evolved, so I cannot help but to be optimistic."
SCOTT REDDING: "We improved compared to yesterday, both in terms of times and my feeling with the new bike. The biggest limitation right now is chattering at the front, which keeps me from making further progress. We did a few tests, but evidently we need a radical change. I can feel that the bike can be faster and Aleix is demonstrating that. Now we'll analyze the data and decide what to try tomorrow."
THE 2018 APRILIA RS-GP MAKES ITS TRACK DÉBUT IN SEPANG. FIRST CONTACT WITH THE NEW BIKE FOR ESPARGARÓ AND REDDING.