MotoGP, Albesiano: “It was Dovizioso rider on Aprilia, not just any test rider”

It was only three days of testing, but the expectation of seeing Dovizioso for the first time at Aprilia was great and the hope that their paths will cross again in the future. For the time being, two more test days are planned in Mugello in May, but the more you have, the more you want and both Andrea and the Noale manufacturer are hungry …

The appointment in Jerez was also the first time Romano Albesiano, Aprilia’s technical director, worked with Andrea. Did he get upset about that too?

“Engineers are always strange animals – Albesiano replied with a laugh – It was certainly a long-awaited test, there was a lot of interest in a driver with this experience and a reputation for being very analytical, which was confirmed. From a technical point of view, it was a pleasure to work with him ”.

Were you afraid that he might turn down the RS-GP?

“We started the season on a positive note, so A total rejection would have surprised me. And that was not the case ”.

What was it like working with Dovizioso for three days?

“Very nice, He is a fan of motorcycles and working with method. Of course, if you conduct these types of tests away from the competition, you have even more freedom to enjoy them. It was for us and I hope for him too. It was great, everything was very positive. “

“Dovizioso has an overview of how a motorcycle works”

Is there anything that surprised you in what he said to you?

“Yes, for example a few comments about the gearbox that I didn’t expect, we’re talking about technical details. What I liked so much is his vision: Usually a driver tells you whether something is better or worse and how it behaves, while with Andrea you understand that through his years of experience he has understood how the motorcycle works. It was very interesting”.

How important were these three days of testing?

“Andrea was very careful to find a perfect position on the bike. When we looked at photos of him on other bikes, we noticed that his position was slightly different from our attitude. So we worked at night as usual, adapting the different pieces. The mechanics did wonders of Italian craftsmanship, sipping and stuck a bit (laughs). In the end we came close to a sitting position that was going in the right direction, but there is still a lot to be done. “

“We are working to make Dovizioso feel more comfortable at Aprilia in Mugello”

Will there be another RS-GP at Mugello that is more tailored to Dovizioso?

“We have already done a lot of pieces for him for Jerez, but that’s obviously not enough. Of course we are working on it, because if the rider does not feel comfortable on the bike, he cannot do his best, he has to adopt a natural and not forced posture. Regardless of what is a long but generally simple process, everything else was very positive, as was his opinion on the basic components of the bike.

To do all this work for just two tests would be a shame …

“Quantity is important, but quality is more important. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t think anyone knows: it’s a journey in stages and we’ll see where it takes us. In any case, it is very useful and beautiful for us ”.

Was it also helpful for everyone’s morale to get a vote of confidence from an experienced driver outside the project?

“It is not only interesting for morale to have information about how the other bikes work, otherwise you go your own way, which can be right or wrong. Aleix has been with us for a while so he doesn’t have any other benchmarks and Lorenzo never had them.

“The Aprilia differs from the Ducati, with the information from Dovizioso we were able to expand its range of applications”

Is it true that Dovizioso said the Aprilia was a simple bike?

“I can confirm that.”

Despite its Italian origins, is the RS-GP more similar to Japanese motorcycles like Yamaha and Suzuki than the Ducati?

“In a way it is like that and Andrea noticed it. Today our bike is set to go fast in a certain way, which is very different from the bike it rode before. That’s the interesting part: there are so many ways to make a bike go fast and they depend on the rider’s riding style, so he dictates the line. The adjustments can be very different and likely following Dovizioso’s instructions, we can think about expanding the range of use of our bike.

“In Jerez I found a rider who wanted to get to know a new bike, not a tester”

Did you find a driver or test driver in the Jerez test?

“In my opinion, Andreas’ attitude was mainly a rider who wanted to get to know a new bike, I don’t know if that would make him a test rider. It’s a little early to say “.

How much would Aprilia need a tester now?

“It would be ideal to be able to define Dovizioso as our test driver. We can say he was there for a test, even if it was more about getting comfortable on the bike than trying new things. If this were to continue, it would certainly be an extraordinary added value ”.

Are you going to try something new in Mugello?

“A little more yes”.

“A satellite team is useful to accelerate development”

What is your development program for this year?

“There’s a lot of stuff. Of course we can’t do anything about aerodynamics, except in small areas that are important. We’re trying to put the most effort into the engine right now, we’ve made just as many pretty big changes over the past two years and it took time to get everything right. We have increased our firepower a lot to speed up development, we have to be good at getting everything on track because sometimes there are things that go inactive because there is no time to complete the test cycle. I can’t say what we’re working on, but we’re doing it in a lot of areas, especially on the engine.

From a technical point of view, is this the right time for a satellite team?

“It could also be because having more opportunities to come up with new ideas gives us the opportunity to experiment with them, further accelerating our growth process. After that, when you go to a track, you have four drivers and their information … it’s just twice as much as it is now (laughs) ”.

“We’re working on engine performance, but there will be a lot of new features”

How satisfied are you with this start of the season?

“In the last race in Qatar we might have deserved a little more in terms of finishing position, but otherwise the competition we’ve had so far has been really good. Now we have to do well, even in difficult weather conditions. I am very happy because the driver is the first to be happy and I think we are heading in a positive direction. This is an absurd championship where if you make a stupid mistake you will be in 18th place. It’s crazy, they’re all very strong, even the rookies, but we have our cards to play and we showed that.

What has the RS-GP 2021 improved the most and what is still missing?

“The power delivery of the engine has improved, the bike is more stable and more effective when braking, we have taken another step in electronics. Where compared to another V4 something is still missing (laughs) is in pure performance. We made two big changes to the engine and we can now turn to performance development. I think we’ll catch up a little this season.