Why 2021 is Aprilia's most important MotoGP season
Aprilia’s pre-season progress in MotoGP in recent years has always ended up flattering to deceive. But concessions in the rules has allowed it to start 2021 with a new bike. The early signs are promising, and they need to be as 2021 - for numerous reasons - will be Aprilia’s most important season in MotoGP.
The first two days of the Qatar MotoGP pre-season test for 2021 rather went to form in terms of who occupied the top of the timesheets, with Fabio Quartararo on the factory Yamaha proving - if anything – the M1 is still a good bike at Losail. And Ducati’s Jack Miller proved the GP21 is likely to once again be a victory contender come the Qatar Grand Prix.
And you could argue an Aprilia going strong in the Qatari desert is nothing new. Aleix Espargaro scored Aprilia’s joint-best ever MotoGP result of sixth on his debut for the marque in Qatar back in 2017, and last year was strong in the test there. But those results flattered to deceive, as Aprilia is still nowhere near showing the form it expected throughout those campaigns, ending 2020 last in the constructors' championship and failing to crack the top six all season.
OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward
The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona
It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?
Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout
Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so
The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder
Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix
Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets
Rossi: 2021 Yamaha MotoGP bike “very similar” to 2020 M1
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