Aprilia’s MotoGP boss Massimo Rivola has warned the new RS-GP will not immediately be a better race package than the current bike as it is all-new from the ground up.
But the former Ferrari F1 chief says he is well aware of the current bike’s weaknesses and they are being addressed, including a brand new V4 engine which is likely to become a conventional 90°.
“The strength of this bike is that the bike rides the corners quite well. We could see that at Phillip Island,” said Rivola.
“We see that we have to brake a lot and restart from the lower gears. We are lacking there. Maybe it’s acceleration, maybe it’s due to the grip and maybe it’s about electronics to control the grip. It’s a mixture. Maybe we have too much wheelies so we need more wings.
“The new bike is nicer to ride than the previous model, but we are lacking in some areas. It will still be a bike with a V4 engine but with a different V actually. So the engine is new.
“Sepang is the target, to have two bikes, not four. It’s an ambitious target since we are doing everything new. We are not carrying over any components. It’s a big challenge.
“The target is to have the first shakedown in February with two 2019 bikes and two new bikes. We can start comparing.
“And I said to the riders: ‘Don’t think, that the new bike will be better straight away. The current bike was developed for years.’ Now we start with a completely new project. We need to understand what the new bike will be like.”