The spectacular Australian circuit of Phillip Island is hosting the penultimate MotoGP preseason tests ahead of the official start of the 2017 season. A tough and important test bench for the Aprilia RS-GP machines ridden by Aleix Espargarò and Sam Lowes, who found ideal weather conditions today.
Aleix, astride his 2017 version RS-GP, took the new fairings (the result of aerodynamic studies) on their début ride for a few laps, gathering the first important information that must be further analysed. During the morning, the Spanish Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider put his best time on the sheets at 1'29.501, which earned him sixth place, just six tenths behind the leader and only two tenths behind world champion Marquez. Consistently fast, in the afternoon Aleix continued to explore the chassis and electronics setup options, ending his session with a simulation, doing 15 consecutive laps.
Sam Lowes was also satisfied, making his début in the premier class, increasing his feeling with the Aprilia prototype lap after lap, especially in terms of trajectories, braking points and riding style.
“We are improving. Yesterday we had already started in the right direction. Today we did a lot of chassis tests. I am more than satisfied with both my flying lap and with our pace during the race simulation, which is very important. The bike has not changed much compared with Malaysia, but my feeling on it increases constantly, especially with the front tyre and that is very important for my riding style. Now we need to keep improving our package.”
“Today we worked well. I am happy. I continue discovering how these bikes need to be ridden and I m beginning to figure out what I need to get my times down. Riding the RS-GP here at Phillip Island is something special. I like the track and I am sure that tomorrow we will be able to take another step toward a good starting base for the 2017 season.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“We are conducting some good tests, both from a technical standpoint and in terms of the riders' feelings. Aleix is continuing to work on the 2017 bike that he had already given us favourable feedback on in the Malaysia tests. He was very fast on his flying lap and in terms of pace. Sam simply needs to continue lapping without too much pressure. He is beginning to adapt his riding style to this bike and I am confident that he will be at a satisfactory level before Qatar. We took the 2017 front fairings on their maiden ride with Aleix. We will definitely be testing them again for further confirmation on the track of the encouraging results obtained in the computer simulations.”
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