Aprilia enters their third MotoGP season with new colors for their RS-GP. The Italian Manufacturer opted for a striking new red, white and green design for its 2017 livery, a sort of love declaration to the national flag as the President of the Piaggio Group Roberto Colannino stressed today at the team launch in Noale, Italy.
“We are very proud to represent Italy in the world” stated Colanning, “our MotoGP machine is from the first to the last screw 100 per cent made in Italy. It’s the result of the work of the Aprilia Racing Department that in its history can boast 54 world titles, 28 under the Piaggio umbrella. Three years ago we took the risk to enter the premiere class, choosing to do the development while racing. Our efforts paid off and this season we aim at making good results. We entered MotoGP to win”.
“The target is to finish constantly in the top 10 aiming at a top 5 results” stated Aprilia Racing boss Romano Albesiano. “We can count on an experienced Aleix Espargaro and the rookie Sam Lowes. They are both passionate and determined. These are the qualities that we need for our relatively young and challenging project. The RS-GP 2017 is an evolution of the last year prototype. We have worked on the engine side to have more torque and a smoother power delivery and also on the chassis side. We tested the new fairing with integrated winglets in Australia and we will use it again in Qatar to confirm the validity of the project”.
“Before testing the machine in Valencia I had some doubts” confessed the Spaniard Aleix Espargaro, who joined Aprilia after two seasons with Suzuki. “I was impressed by the stability of the RS-GP and I was relieved. The bike is heavier and more physical in the change of directions but more stable and this is crucial for my riding style. Last year it was very difficult from a psychological point of view. I lost the confidence with the front. I crashed, crashed, crashed and I finished in a black hole. It was not the comparison with Maverick (Vinales) that put me down. I was happy for his results. The problem was that I couldn’t be with him or even close because I had no feeling with the front. Aprilia took me out of the tunnel. They trusted me and now I feel the responsibility of carrying out the development. We have a good potential. Of course we need more horsepower and also more consistency in the second half of the race. We will keep on working at the Qatar test. I’m confident”.
His teammate, Sam Lowes, shares the same feeling. “The step from Moto2 to the premiere class is big. I’m still learning and adapting my riding style to the MotoGP machine. In particular I need to improve in the middle of the corner. I need to keep up the bike faster.
“My reference are the other rookies, like Folger and Zarco. They have been faster from the beginning. But this doesn’t put me under extra pressure. We are carrying out two different kinds of work: we are still developing the Aprilia machine, while the Yamaha Tech 3 riders have to focus only on the set up of the machine and to open the throttle. Last year I was fighting with them, so I’m not worried. Our bike has a lot of potential and the work at the test is different than during a race weekend. Last year I was obsessed by the lap times and I made mistakes. This time I have a different approach. I prefer to learn the bike first and manage my energy and the pressure. My target is to improve my results race after race”.