Aleix Espargarò is without a teammate this season who can compete at the same level as him. An element that is probably slowing down Aprilia's development, because having two fast riders undoubtedly represents a fundamental element in understanding the level of the bike. That said, it is clear that at the moment Aprilia wants to know the fate of Andrea Iannone, which should be revealed on October 15th, but it is equally clear that the world of MotoGP is offering an incredible chance to the Noale manufacturer and this chance is called Andrea Dovizioso. .
The news of Dovizioso's separation from Ducati arrived at an advanced phase in the season when almost all the rider market is sorted for next year, but Iannone's pending situation actually makes the second bike of the Noale team free at the moment. For Dovizioso it would undoubtedly be a challenge with a completely different flavour than in the recent past, decidedly demanding but also potentially very rewarding. Maybe being able to improve the RS-GP to the point of being able to compete on equal terms with the Desmosedici, would give a more unique than rare taste to the now former Desmodovi. One man who would welcome him with open arms is Aleix Espargarò, who today finished in 12th place in free practice, coming close to direct access to Q2.
"I have said many times in the past that Dovizioso is my favourite rider on the grid - said Espargarò - I like his working method, his character. I am very different; I have many more ups and downs. I think I could learn a lot from him as a rider and I think he could also bring here a lot of information for our engineers, who in turn could learn a lot. It would be great to have Dovizioso as a teammate, and I think if I could race at his level or maybe even be faster, this would improve my skills as a rider. "
Do you really think there is a chance to see him in Aprilia in 2021?
"For me it is clear that we are a real chance for Dovizioso. We are the only manufacturer with a bike available and he would be more than welcome. We could have some great seasons together."
Thinking about the present, how do you view today?
"It was a good day, we wanted to work a lot on used tyres to improve the situation for the second part of the race, also after what we saw here last Sunday. I felt much stronger in the first part of the race while afterwards I suffered too much with tyre wear. Today our goal was to improve this aspect and I think we did it. In the afternoon, the temperature increased and it was not easy to go below 1'24, but in any case, I was in the top ten of the second session, so that's okay. I think we have some margin and I feel satisfied. "
Does racing twice on the same track help those who need to develop like you?
"In my opinion, staying on the same track is a good opportunity for us, because we can work to improve the set-up of the bike. It also helps the engineers a lot, because it gives us a lot of data to work on right from the start on Friday. From a certain point of view, it also showed us that we have to learn to be faster and more responsive during the race weekend, because in a normal situation you don't race twice in a row on the same track. "
When will we see this RS-GP with no engine revs limitations?
"For me today we were fast and I think that in general on fast tracks we can have our say and be competitive. But after the disaster of the first two races, we want to be cautious. The bike is working well in any case and we have had no problems in the last five days on the track. We are improving, but it is still not easy to think of putting the bike on the podium. If you look at the classification, there is often less than half a second between the top fifteen. But I think this bike is much better than the 2019 bike and I think so far, we haven't really been able to prove it yet. If we continue to work as we are doing now, I'm sure the results will come. "
After the tests you were very happy, then the race results didn't arrive and you got a little impatient. How do you feel today looking at your situation?
"I'm still very happy even though we haven't been able to show the true potential of this bike yet. I feel better than last year, I have no doubts. Last Sunday I had the same pace here as Valentino and Zarco, who were fighting in the second group. Then came the red flag. This season is very strange and I'm sorry to say we just need time, but in the end it's the truth. We have to go on one step at a time and it's a shame that some of my favourite tracks will be missing from the calendar this year, like Qatar, Malaysia, Thailand. This doesn't help us but let us take one step at a time. I feel better ".
What do you think of the penalty for Zarco? Is it severe enough in your opinion?
"I don't agree with the penalty given to Zarco, but it's not my job to judge. My job is to try to stay in the top ten tomorrow morning."
You don’t agree in the sense that it was not very severe?
"Yes, in my opinion it wasn't severe enough."