Dovizioso explains "smart" decision to test Aprilia MotoGP bike

Fifteen-time MotoGP race winner Andrea Dovizioso says testing the Aprilia at Jerez this week was “smart” for him as he continues to work towards a comeback in 2022.

Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia

Dovizioso is taking a sabbatical in 2021 after losing his place at Ducati at the end of last season following eight years with the Italian marque.

He was offered a race seat with Aprilia for 2021 as well as several test rider roles – including the Yamaha gig that went to Cal Crutchlow – but declined all deals to work towards a full-time MotoGP race return in 2022.

Aprilia announced last month it had struck an agreement with Dovizioso for him to ride the RS-GP at a private test at Jerez from 12-14 April.

However, it remains unclear what both parties’ end game is from this test, with Dovizioso’s manager last month admitting any sort of race return in 2021 with Aprilia was unlikely.

When asked by Autosport to explain why he was motivated to carry out this test, Dovizioso said: “It’s because still my passion is for MotoGP and I would like to race next year.

“So, I think it was smart to be on track and I’m really happy because Aprilia gave me the possibility to do that and in the right way.

“So, I’m really happy about that and I think it’s positive in any case if I will race next year or not.

“The possibility to ride a MotoGP bike is always nice and to be able to do it in this way, in a professional way, not just riding, it’s what I would like to do, it’s in the way I want to do.

Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia

Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia

“So, it was not easy to say no and everything was organised in the right way, so I think it was smart to do it.”

Dovizioso spent the three days at Jerez largely working on adjusting his position on the RS-GP having spent eight years on the Ducati, and says he didn’t go too deep into development work on the Aprilia as a result.

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Refusing to be drawn on what lap times he managed – though noting they weren’t “too bad” – Dovizioso didn’t say in what areas the RS-GP impressed or disappointed him, but revealed a further test is set to take place at Mugello in the next month.

“To speak about the lap times, I don’t think is too intelligent because when you are not feeling 100% with the position on the bike it’s not important,” he added.

“As I told you before, the speed of the MotoGP rider can be fast with every bike, the gap is small but this is not the point, especially if you look at the race everybody is in one second [of the best pace].

“So, this is not the point; to be on top you need different things.

“Next, I think we will do another test because we want to work a bit more on the position of the bike and that’s the key to try other things and takes time.

“So, I think we will organise another test, maybe to be in Mugello in one month more or less. And that’s the plan.”

Aprilia has since confirmed the test will take place at the Italian Grand Prix venue from 11-12 May.

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