Espargaro says Iannone should expect Aprilia MotoGP frustration

Aleix Espargaro says new Aprilia MotoGP team-mate Andrea Iannone will find it difficult not to become frustrated during his first season with the manufacturer

Espargaro says Iannone should expect Aprilia MotoGP frustration

Iannone moves to Aprilia for 2019 after two up-and-down years at Suzuki and rode the RS-GP for the first time in last weekend's post-season Valencia test.

The one-time race winner crashed twice on the second day of the test, but said afterwards he expected Aprilia's bike to be worse than it was.

Espargaro endured a miserable second season at Aprilia, saying last month he cannot tolerate another season like 2018, and predicted Iannone may have trouble accepting his place in the pecking order after a competitive end to his spell at Suzuki.

But he reiterated that Iannone, who replaces Scott Redding, will be vital in Aprilia's push to move up the grid.

"Iannone has shown he can fight for victory with the Suzuki and the Ducati," said Espargaro.

"This will allow us to understand the level of the Aprilia and if we are able to improve the level of the bike.

"The problem is that keeping your level and not feeling frustrated when you are always behind is not easy.

"For Andrea it won't be easy, but he will be very useful for Aprilia.

"With two strong riders that work in the same direction, you can achieve your goals faster and go further.

"From the start, Andrea has used the same package as me and has found identical problems.

"It's a good thing, because we know where we need to work. Last year we didn't have a test team and my team-mate was further away, so it was difficult to improve the bike on my own.

"Now we have a test rider like [Bradley] Smith, who is a good rider, and Andrea who is a strong rider."

Espargaro ended the Valencia test inside the top 10, six tenths of a second slower than pacesetter Maverick Vinales, having spent the two days sampling a new type of engine and chassis.

"It [the chassis] didn't convince me at all, but we'll try it again at Jerez," said the Spaniard.

"We have continued to work with the new engine and it's a bit better.

"We have to work on the engine braking, because I can't stop the bike how I would like.

"I hope that with the geometry we can find a better weight balance at the rear and that with the electronics we have improved the engine braking."

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