Who said that engineers only think about numbers? Romano Albesiano, Aprilia's technical director and father of the RS-GP, is first and foremost a motorcyclist who, as soon as he has the chance, puts on his leathers to try out his creations. He was the host of our live broadcast, in which he talked with Paolo Scalera and Matteo Aglio and answered the many questions from GPOne readers.
He spoke about MotoGP but not only, he also revealed what the next bikes from Noale will be and much more. Above you can see the full video, below read his thoughts.
"The new RS-GP is a 'calm' bike because trust matters more than horsepower for the riders. We are working on a mass damper "
"How would I describe the new RS-GP? It is calm, in the sense that it was designed to increase the confidence of the rider. To make a rider go strong, he must have confidence in the bike, you can have 1000 horsepower, but if he is not confident, he does not push. "
“Which is more important between the bike and the rider? Difficult to say. Today it is no longer possible to think that a rider can arrive who can solve all the problems, as it was feasible when racing in 500cc. For me it is 50-50 between motorcycle and rider ".
“We are working on the mass damper for sure, it is a complex project, justified by the need to definitively solve the problem of chattering. We are investing heavily in this technology and we are extremely close to starting with experimentation, indeed we would have already done so if we had not stopped. MotoGP has explored territories that were new to us and consolidated elsewhere, aerodynamics is one of them. I believe that today we must invest in being able to make the most of the tyres; if you can do that, performance changes radically ".
“The inline 3 is a beautiful engine, the one in the RS Cube had many concepts that are applied today in MotoGP. Unfortunately, that type of configuration is in fact excluded from the regulation because if we followed the current rules it would not be competitive ".
"Everyone would like to have Andrea Iannone in their team, but he wants to be with us"
“Seeing as the question of the riders is managed by Massimo Rivola, I hope to be able to continue with the ones we have, they are excellent. Aleix is part of the family, Andrea joined us recently and we cannot hide that his first year with us was not as good as expected. But he showed huge potential in flashes and I believe in continuity. For me they are two fantastic guys. There are many differences between the two. Iannone is strong when cornering, while Espargarò is under braking and he opens the throttle early. Andrea is looking for a riding style that is more managed by electronics, while Aleix has taken a different path and is used to managing the gas in a more direct way. I have to say that Aleix is more forgiving, he adapts a lot to the bike”.
“I believe that every team manager would want Andrea Iannone as a rider. I do not know if there are any real intentions to take him away, I hope he stays with us and I know that he does not want to change bikes continuously, he wants to stay. I'm sorry he hasn't tried the new bike yet because I think he would like it very much. "
"Rossi? I would be honoured if he wanted to race with us. I would make him a special Ape Car "
"For me, talking about Valentino Rossi means talking about an entity that is too important. We would be very honoured and interested if he wanted to race with us, but I do not know how plausible such a path is. He was very fond of using an Ape Piaggio: we could make him an Aprilia Racing version. "
“All the riders leave you something. For sure Guintoli in 2014 gave us a demonstration of intelligence and remarkable class both as a rider and as a man. There was a great relationship with Alvaro Bautista, I can say that a mistake was made by letting him go, he is a valuable rider that we have lost. Aleix Espargarò is pure enthusiasm and energy, he pulls you along with him, he has genuine enthusiasm. Andrea Iannone has shown us wonderful flashes of class and he is a fascinating character”.
“A single bike in MotoGP? I think you need two "
"Gigi Dall'Igna is trying to carry out the idea of a single motorcycle in MotoGP with a view to reducing costs, there are pros and cons. For what MotoGP is, it would represent a lowering in level, you would run the risk of racing without one top rider due to a crash in the warm-up. In SBK they have done it, but before we had a second bike disassembled in the back and today it is now assembled. I believe that a second bike is needed. What would happen if Marquez destroyed one bike in the warm-up? It would go in the direction of SBK and it is something that MotoGP wants to avoid for a number of reasons. "
"To race in SBK and Moto2 we would have to reduce the commitment in MotoGP, it is not in our plans"
"In SBK we had reached a point where we had achieved all our goals, while Aprilia was missing winning in MotoGP; the Cube was a fantastic bike but not a winning one. We have not yet managed to win in MotoGP, but we are getting closer every year. When this mission is accomplished, we will think about it again. Realistically we cannot compete in both championships at the level necessary to fight for the title; we would have to give up MotoGP and it is something we don't want to do."
“It would be interesting to race in Moto3 and Moto2. But we are in MotoGP and we are not winning, so this means that we have to make up a gap. We cannot divide our forces, otherwise we would lose the opportunity to do well in MotoGP. Racing in Moto2 would make a lot of sense: it is the last step before MotoGP, it is less demanding from a technical point of view and it allows you to work with young riders. Making a chassis seems easy, but you would have to separate a group of people who are currently working on MotoGP to work on Moto2. It could be done, but it is not the right time and the same goes for Moto3 ".
“The RSV4 doesn't need a MotoGP engine. The Dakar fascinates me "
“Right now, we have the RSV4 and you know it very well. It has a top-level performance and does not need any revolution. If MotoGP anticipates the needs of road bikes, it is possible that Aprilia will make an RSV4 with a 90° V engine, but not now ".
“I'm glad that we talk about the Dakar and Aprilia. It means that our bike stimulates the imagination. Aprilia is making a series product with the 660 going in that direction, but it seems to me that at the moment only single-cylinder 450 cc bikes are allowed in the Dakar. It would be nice to return in the future to a more open Dakar, more similar to what it was in the 80s and 90s, with motorcycles derived from road models. It was an era that came to an end for safety reasons, but if we could use our 660cc engine, we would think about it. "
“In fact, we want the spirit of the RS660 to be similar to that of the RS250. The power to weight ratio is the most important thing for a motorcycle. I spoke to those who rode it and they are incredibly happy: having an elastic motor on the road is essential, pure power is a number that says little. For example, 100 CVs are already a lot and enough to have fun. "
“The 2-stroke engine had a charm that was lost. An electric motorcycle? At the moment it doesn't make sense "
"Technically I can say the 2-stroke engine is the most beautiful and simple concept that there is. When we raced with the 500cc we knew that we were outside reality: the world of production bikes was heading towards 4-stroke. SBK had found a lot of space for this too, the switch to 4-stroke in MotoGP was a must, but all the charm of those bikes was lost. In Cagiva I had an extraordinary experience, it was an incredible company and I think I learned a lot. "
"The electric sector has huge technological limits on motorcycles. In the world of scooters, it makes sense and in fact Piaggio made the electric Vespa but if we talk about electric sports bikes, today it is not competitive. Just look at MotoE, which is the current technological limit of that solution and it does not seem interesting to us today to offer such a product. The weight of the batteries is enormous; until this limit changes radically, an electric motorcycle will not make much sense. "