The GP of San Marino is a special round for Aprilia who, 30 years ago, right here in Misano, took their first Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing win in the 250 class with Loris Reggiani. Now the company from Noale is competing in MotoGP and continuing their ‘apprenticeship’ as they seek to achieve those same results in the premier class.
The road is still long, but the Italian engineers have a surprise in store for their home round: in fact, a new fairing will make its début in Misano.
Revealing it was manager Romano Albesiano: “We are heading to Misano rather optimistically, especially in light of the tests done here two weeks ago which were definitely positive. We will most likely have an aerodynamic upgrade, basically in line with the interpretation of the rules which seems to be consolidated at this point. From a technical point of view, we will be focusing primarily on tests with the fuel tank full, since the early laps of the race are the ones where we are struggling the most.”
In the Aprilia camp the optimism is tangible and team manager Fausto Gresini also makes no secret that they are aiming high. “Misano is a very important GP for us. It will not be at all easy, but the goal is to bring home a good result that can repay us for all the hard work we've done up to now - he says - It would be fantastic for Aprilia, for the team, for our partners and for the riders. If I have to make a prediction, I'd like to aim for the top 6 and I think we have the potential to be there. Aleix is obviously our top rider, but we are giving our best to let Sam express his full potential in this season finale as well.”
Espargaró had taken on the GP in Great Britain at less than perfect physical fitness after an injury suffered while training in karts, but for Misano he has recovered.
“I rested after Silverstone to recover from my injury - he says - The tests done here went well. They let us take another step forward and we are coming to Misano with all our papers in order to do a good race. This is a special occasion for Aprilia and I'll give it my all.”
Sam Lowes is also keen to show that he is in the game after a less than brilliant season.
“We tested here in Misano recently and I had a good feeling. This is Aprilia's home race, so I hope to do well this weekend. Right now I am feeling at ease on the bike and with the work the team is doing.” he assures.