Let’s be honest: Yesterday in Misano, in the middle of Aprilia All Stars Day, the appointment for an interview with Aleix Espargarò was scheduled for 2:50 p.m., but the Spaniard waited until 3:40 p.m. Just to be clear, rudeness (a flaw that certainly does not belong to Espargarò) has nothing to do with it, because the wait was pleasant and justified. Strange as it may seem no one could separate Aleix from the 250cc machine that Aprilia gave him and Biaggi. allowed, little toys that caught everyone’s attention in a pit lane full of incredible motorcycles.
“For a driver, a day like this is like going to Disneyland for a kid,” Aleix told us Being able to drive with drivers like Biaggi, Poggiali, Capirossi is a lot of fun. It was a special day for me because it was great to do a two-stroke 15 years after the last time. “
“The RSV 250 is the best bike I’ve ever ridden”
What can you tell us about this 250cc? What were the sensations in the saddle?
“I used the semi-official LE while driving the RSA, the last one. It’s a really incredible motorcycle, three times stiffer than a MotoGP, iIt gives you a sense of crazy freedom, it feels like you are on a bike. The circuitry is really impressive too when you hear the engine reach 13,000 RPM … wow … there are few things in the world that give you goose bumps. “
So would you ride those bikes again tomorrow …
“I’m one of the happiest people in the world because I can develop a MotoGP bike with a very large factory behind me, but the best bike I’ve ever ridden is the RSV 250, and racing in the RSA version today was great. “
“Jerez will be a test, but Aprilia has really improved”
But today, like you said, you’re a MotoGP rider. How did the season start? Aprilia seems to have finally improved.
“I am very satisfied with this start of the season. I know it sounds bad to say, but I haven’t had much fun riding in the past few years. I tried to do my best but I haven’t smiled anymore but this year it’s just the opposite: I’m happy and can fight with the best of what’s new for Aprilia. “
Where have the biggest improvements been made?
“The bike has improved a bit in everything. We don’t have a much more powerful engine or a much better chassis than in the past, we have made progress in all areas. The engine is easier to operate at low speeds, The new frame gives me more mechanical grip and aerodynamically, we have more downforce and that allows us to accelerate much better. We have a competitive bike ”.
Now we come to Jerez, a stretch that tends to compact the group. What do you expect?
“After Qatar I had some doubts because this is a special track. However, we confirmed everything in Portimao and Jerez will be an important test as the track is very complete. This winter I drove very fast there in practice and am therefore looking forward to the next race. “
“Dovizioso thinks about Aprilia as I do”
Andrea Dovizioso also tested the RS-GP two weeks ago in Jerez. Did you get any feedback on this test?
“I had a meeting with all the engineers who went to Jerez with Dovizioso and he made comments about the bike that were similar to mine. That has to be said he spent a lot of time finding the right position on the bike, Savadori and I are tall and Dovi struggled a little. For sure he will be ready for the Mugello test to try to push the bike to the limit.
But is the sitting position really that important? We remember that one of the first to talk about it and make a real problem with it was Lorenzo in Ducati …
“Ours is the most competitive category in the world with the fastest drivers in the world and every little detail counts because today, if you are 3 or 4 tenths behind the first, you risk getting out of the top 10. You can’t go to the limit if you still don’t feel comfortable on the bike I’ve always been a rider who tries to adapt to the bike instead of the bike to adapt to me. However, some drivers, like Lorenzo who is really strong, prefer to do the opposite and he has to adapt the bike to his own style and in fact we saw how fast he went with the Yamaha and how much he struggled with the Honda.
“To be part of this family makes me proud”
What’s missing to win MotoGP with the Aprilia?
“We’re fine, we have to continuously improve. W.We have all known each other for a long time and need rest to fight for victory. Now we have to find a little more power because our rivals are stronger than us on the track with a long straight, but we’ve never been so close to our rivals. I also need a bit of a break-in because for the first time I have the right weapons to fight with.
What do you think of Pol’s start to the season at Honda? Last year he was the lucky one while you were suffering … now things seem to have changed.
“Today’s MotoGP is really great. Two months ago, many observers thought that Pol could win the World Championship with the Honda and instead Aprilia and I are doing very well. This is just one example of the competitiveness of our championship. Pol and Honda will win races and I think he will be able to fight for the world championship too.
On the track during the Aprilia All Stars, we saw so many champions whose name is linked to the history of Aprilia. How good is it for you to be a part of this story?
“Max Biaggi is now a friend of mine, Capirossi always was, Poggiali too and I remember how strong he was with the 125cc Gilera. I don’t even have 1% of her wins and titles, but it makes me proud to be Aprilia’s star in MotoGP. I am happy and happy to be an Aprilia driver and to be part of this family. “