Britain’s Bradley Smith is slowly making the transition back from tester to full-time MotoGP rider, finishing the Misano test only half a second down on fastest man and Aprilia team-mate Aleix Espargaro.
Smith stuck in 207 laps on the new RS-GP20 with a best time of 1’33.536 compared to Espargaro’s 1’32.932. For comparison, he also half a second off Scott Redding’s best WorldSBK lap set on Pirelli qualifiers.
“I’m honestly pleased at the end of these tests. I had to make a physical and mental step to go from tester to rider and I think I managed, especially on this last day,” said Smith.
“Right now, it is fundamental for us to gain experience on this new bike, gathering data and understanding how it reacts. While the base setup proved to be good straight away in Malaysia and Qatar, there are still many aspects that we need to explore in order to exploit the full potential of the new project.
“On my part, I know that I still have room to improve and Aleix’s performance demonstrates as much, but the gap has shrunk and I feel much more at ease taking the 2020 RS-GP to the limit.”