APRILIA UPS AND DOWNS
Aleix Espargaró left the Valencia test thrilled with his new Aprilia. The ex-suzuki star reckons there is real potential in the package and he expects to be competitive when the new season starts.
He said: “Maybe I was expecting something worse, but the bike is really competitive. We know the direction that we have to work in, but it’s a really stable bike and the turning is a little better than I expected.
“We need to improve the acceleration, and that’ll be the biggest target of the coming tests. The bike is quite fast, and strong in the higher RPM, but the acceleration is not as good. It’s hard to say if it’s just pure torque or if it’s something that we can improve through the electronics.”
It was a more difficult test for new team-mate Sam Lowes, who crashed heavily at the end of the first day, injuring his neck and choosing to sit out the day two. However, despite coming away battered and bruised – and a long way down the time sheets – the Brit was pleased with his outing.
And Lowes is also optimistic that his pace will improve at Jerez thanks to the change in scenery – and being able to reprogram his brain after first spending three days riding a very different Moto2 machine around the Valencia track.
He said: “The most important thing is working on my riding style for Motogp and not having to jump back onto a Moto2 bike. I can concentrate on riding it properly now, because we could see from the previous tests that I was doing some things in the wrong way but couldn’t change them. It’s one step back to take two forwards.”
Promising start for Espargaró