Aleix Espargaró Reveals What Aprilia Is Missing To beat Ducati
In 2022, only Aprilia came close to keeping up with the superior Ducatis. After the Sepang test, Aleix Espargaró explains what Aprilia is missing to beat Ducati.
At the pre-season test in Sepang, the Ducatis dominated once again. Aprilia again seems to be the only true opponent of the Italians. Aleix Espargaró sees the Ducati again as the best bike in MotoGP.
Although modifications were made to the Aprilia in all areas over the winter break and the bike has gradually improved, the Spaniard is not yet sure whether the Noale manufacturer will be able to beat the Ducatis in 2023. He feels his Aprilia is lacking in several areas.
“They [Ducati] still have the best engine from my point of view. They are not super far away anymore, but it is still the best engine.”
A new development stage of the Aprilia engine with even more power is supposed to remedy the situation.
Fortunately, the Italians will test it before the start of the season in Portimao. The new power unit could be ready to use at the start of the season.
On top of that, however, Espargaró hints at a second, larger area in which the Aprilia is inferior to last year’s world champion bike.
“It’s two things. They are super good at stopping the bike. It’s crazy how they do it,” explained the stunned Spaniard.
He continues: “The Ducati riders can stop the bike and then accelerate very strongly from zero.”
Espargaró feels the Ducati riders are able to utilize the rear of the bike more than he can to slow down the bike from high speeds.
“On the Aprilia, I feel like I’m stopping the bike with just the front wheel. When they brake, you can see how they also use the rear wheel to decelerate.”
The 33-year-old’s team has already made a decisive step during the test weekend, Espargaró reports.
“We analyzed it and I tried a different set-up on Sunday to put more load on the rear in the braking phase.”
He reveals: “It worked because I did my fastest lap with it. But it is not enough. Hopefully, we can close the gap, we still have some aerodynamic solutions to test for Portimão.”