Aleix Espargaro Foresees Huge Aprilia Problems On Race Sunday

Categories:   MotoGP

In practice the Aprilia riders can use the high cornering speed – In the race this isn’t possible, Aleix Espargaro detects massive problems

In the practice sessions of the first five race weekends of the season, the Aprilia factory team around team captain Aleix Espargaro and teammate Maverick Vinales convinced the paddock that they could be in for a shot at the title this year should they be able to solve some small problems.

Several times the two Spaniards took the first two places but in the race, the Aprilias lag behind the performance from the 2022 season. Has the Aprilia RS-GP lost its competitiveness?

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“The DNA of the Aprilia is to release the brake and have good cornering speed,” explains Espargaro. “You can do that when you ride on your own. That’s why sometimes we lead the practices and are very fast, but Sunday is a different story.”

The Spaniard sees massive problems ahead for the Aprilia on race Sunday. Especially in comparison with Ducati and KTM, the Italians have fallen behind, he said.

“Brad [Binder] and KTM are doing much better than us. He is not as fast as the Aprilias on Friday and Saturday, but he beats us every Sunday. We need to understand how to solve this problem.”

“I am very happy that I am very fast when I ride on my own in practice. But that’s not the point. You have to be able to make it work on Sunday.”

“I have to congratulate KTM because what they are doing is incredible. However, according to my feeling, my bike is better than theirs. That makes it even more frustrating. Their bike allows the riders to be more aggressive in the race.”

“They understand better the concept of tires and how racing is in 2023.” Espargaro acknowledges: “They are better than us.”

Aprilia Problems At The Start

Already during the starting phase of the races, the Aprilias lose a lot of ground to their rivals from KTM and Ducati. In Jerez, this was particularly evident.

Espargaro, who started from pole position on each of the weekend’s four race starts, saw three to four riders pass him even before Turn 1.

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In times when overtaking opportunities during the race are few and far between, the Spaniard feels the urge to get rid of the Aprilia’s starting problems as quickly as possible.

“We have to improve the starting system,” he tells the Aprilia engineers. “If I had been leading after the first lap, I could have fought for the win. But as soon as I was overtaken, it was over for me.”

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