Aprilia Racing was undoubtedly one of the most awaited teams in the Misano tests, which brought along Aleix Espargarò and Bradley Smith to the Riviera track. A series of fundamental tests for the Noale team, both to resume the technical path interrupted after Qatar and to give indications to the riders to physically prepare for a rather tight schedule.
A total of 207 laps for Bradley Smith, who will replace Andrea Iannone for the first few races of the calendar, with a best time of in 1'33.536. Also noteworthy was a crash at the Curvone for the British rider, without any consequences:
“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," Smith said. "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."
At the end of the three days, Aleix on the other hand completed 183 laps, with a best time of 1’32.932. "After such a long stop, it was exciting to get back onto the track and I already can’t wait to go to Jerez for the first two races," Espargarò said. "Turning a lot of laps is fundamental for us. We have a totally new bike which, although born with great potential, needs to get some miles under it.
His attention then turned to the Misano test: "We also know that Misano is not our favourite track, but in spite of that, at the end of the three days, we managed to achieve a good pace, confirming the positive impressions we had already had in Malaysia and Qatar."
"These were important tests to define the starting point of our championship. We assessed the various chassis, engine and electronics solutions, in addition to breaking in a team that is brand new in many aspects," Romano Albesiano said. "The riders needed this test as well to get back into the rhythm after such a long stop, and I must say that I saw them improving day after day. The decisions in view of Jerez have been taken. Many of the new features we had prepared worked well and I am rather pleased with the overall level of the bike. In any case, there is still a lot of work to do on the details, especially to increase overall reliability."