Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro was full of praise for the 2020 RS-GP MotoGP contender as it does almost everything the previous bike didn’t do.
Espargaro finished three-tenths off Fabio Quartararo fastest time on Sunday at the Sepang test and he was also able to do 18 laps under the 2’00 barrier, 11 of those in a race simulation.
“Definitely much better, it is difficult to compare because it is early in every single area. The best thing I will say is the turning. When you release the front brake the bike turns a lot more and the position of the rider is also much better,” said Espargaro at the track.
“I would say even more but apart from the turning the stability, the general stability and the smoothness of the whole bike is unbelievable. It reminds me a little bit like the Forward Yamaha I rode six years ago, and this is very good because I think it was one of the best bikes I have ever had. So, I think we are just at the beginning, but we are in a good way.
“The new engine character is also a lot easier to ride. Super electric but we are still missing quite a lot of acceleration. But overall I am satisfied. I think this bike has a lot more potential.
“It is a step forward that, quite frankly, almost surprised me. There are clearly many areas where we need to work, but they are problems due to how young the project is and not real deficiencies.
“At the end of the three days, I would have liked to have been closer to the leaders with the soft tyre, but with this type of tyre I just wasn’t feeling it. In race configuration, on the other hand, even with used tyres, I was extremely fast. We need to keep pushing, because there are only a few weeks left before the first race, but I am leaving Malaysia with a smile on my face.”