There are changes afoot for the Aprilia team, with Pietro Caprara taking the place of Marcus Eschenbacher as Aleix Espargarò's crew chief as of the Misano GP. The Spaniard had already confirmed that his right-hand man would be leaving the team at the end of the year (to move to KTM) but his departure has been brought forward, with Aprilia planning to test new components for 2019 after the Misano race and not wanting to give its rivals any advantages.
The team will remain at Misano on the Monday and Tuesday following the race for two days of testing.
Pietro Caprara thus returns to the paddock, having worked as technical director for team Sky VR46 with Romano Fenati and Nicolò Bulega. He will flank Espargarò until the end of the season and there is a strong chance he will be confirmed for 2019 too.
His first GP in Aprilia colours will be the squad's home race, at a track at which the two riders both completed testing just two weeks ago.
"I am motivated for the Misano race; it is the home race for Aprilia and everyone wants to do their best" Espargaro comments - "In the test a few weeks ago we went well, we know we have to work because the results at the moment are not what we expect. Precisely for this reason we will also be on track on Monday and Tuesday, to continue the development of the RS-GP."
Scott Redding is also keen to get started: “I like the Misano circuit and the test a couple weeks ago was rather positive. It's always great to race in Italy, both because of the special atmosphere and because of the passionate and friendly fans. The track layout will be demanding for the characteristics of our bike. We'll need to work well throughout the weekend in order to be ready for the race."