Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro is eager to get on track at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as MotoGP gears up for round 14.
Two top eight results on an improving RS-GP last season bodes well for the man sitting second in the title race this time around.
“I hope, I can't wait to ride,” Espargaro enthused from the Italian paddock. “Sincerely, Austria was very tough for me. I really never enjoyed riding the bike in Austria. I did really my best, I try everything I could. I work very, very hard and a decent sixth place, but if you want to fight for the title, it's difficult to finish in sixth place. You need to be in the podium especially when you have disadvantage with the leader and when the third rider of the championship is winning, winning, winning.
“Hopefully here in Misano I can recover again the feelings, last year was not that bad and this year, life is better. So, hopefully I can be fast again!”
While the Aprilia project is firmly on the up in the factory team, next year sees the arrival of a satellite outfit with Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez now confirmed at the RNF Team.
“I'm very happy and I congratulate Aprilia, Razlan [Razali] and also the two riders,” the Aprilia ‘Captain’ confirmed. “Say ‘welcome to the Aprilia project’ to Raul and Miguel, two very fast riders and I think they have a very good future in front of them because they are still very, very young. Hopefully they can help us to develop the bike and to fight against eight Ducatis for the championship also! I can't really wait to see how they react when they jump on the bike in Valencia.
“The organisation in Aprilia improved quite a lot during the last years,” he continued on the Noale factory’s progress. “They are now ready to give service to a satellite team, Raul and Miguel will have competitive bikes, but it's new for everybody in Aprilia to have a satellite team. So let's see how they work.
“Let's see how they can help us, which material they will have. We have to go step by step, but for sure, it's going to be helpful to have two strong riders and two more bikes like mine to improve and to rise up the level.”
Speaking of improvements, MotoGP will remain at Misano following the Grand Prix for a two-day test on Monday and Tuesday.
“We have a big list of items to try,” Espargaro confirmed. “Still not like the full '23 bike, but a lot of things that has been tested previously on the previous races for Sava [Lorenzo Savadori], some aerodynamics things, some electronics, some engine, so it's gonna be really demanding two days of test. Really busy and from Misano test they will be able to build more a final '23 spec to try in Valencia.”