Espargaro: Aprilia can only improve after 'destroying' '17 MotoGP bike

Aleix Espargaro says the Aprilia MotoGP team can now only improve after 'destroying' the strengths of its 2017-spec RS-GP

Espargaro: Aprilia can only improve after 'destroying' '17 MotoGP bike

Aprilia has achieved only two top 10 finishes this season, the last of which was scored by Espargaro at Le Mans in May.

The manufacturer has introduced a new-spec engine, first tried in race conditions at Misano, but the team failed to show an improvement with Espargaro and Scott Redding finishing 14th and 21st respectively.

Espargaro said he was not concerned about Aprilia making further bad choices as he feels the RS-GP cannot become any weaker, adding that this year's bike is worse than its predecessor.

"There's nothing we can lose," he said. "We are super-slow, the bike isn't working at all, we are not putting temperature in the front tyre, we are super-far from last season.

"I'm not afraid. We can just go better. I'm super-slow this year and not competitive.

"Last year, for example, in Misano, in FP4 in the dry I finished sixth at 0.4s from pole position. This year it's impossible, I cannot stay even in the points, it's crazy.

"It's unbelievable how we destroyed last year's bike."

Espargaro explained that Aprilia's attempts to fix an excessive front tyre wear issue resulted in it creating even bigger problems at the rear of the bike.

"Last year our problem was that we were sometimes in the second part of the race destroying the front tyre, never the rear, because [there was] too much temperature in the front," he added.

"We changed the balance of the bike a lot, we move the weight on the bike [around] a lot, and we did a mistake obviously.

"We are far from the right front temperature of the tyre. This year I'm able to run super-soft front tyres, we don't put more than 60C, 58C into the front tyre, and we are cooking the rear tyre, which is very strange.

"We have to rebalance the bike."

Espargaro added he did not think the new Aprilia engine was a step forward.

"[It] doesn't convince me, I don't like it," the Spaniard said. "I feel too much pushing into the first part of the corner, I can't stop it.

"And we're playing with the engine brake - the idea was to use engine braking more, but we cannot because as soon as I increase the engine brake I lock the rear tyre.

"It's like a circle that we're not improving. Instead of gaining turning we lose turning with the new engine, so it's even worse.

"Definitely for me, the new engine is not better."

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Aleix Espargaro , Pol Espargaro
Teams AB Motoracing , Aprilia Racing Team
Author Léna Buffa
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