Aleix Espargaro has shared his first impressions of Aprilia's RS-GP machine, saying “the bike is really competitive” after testing it for the first time at Valencia on Tuesday.
The elder Espargaro brother was 14th fastest on the first day of the Valencia test, and said he was pleasantly surprised by the bike's turning ability, as well as its stability when braking.
“I'm really happy overall,” said Espargaro, fresh from moving across from Suzuki's factory team.
“I was expecting something a little worse but the bike is really competitive. From the first impression I really like it a lot. We know the direction we have to work in. It's a really stable bike. It's turning a little bit better than I expect.
“Obviously we have to improve but that's not my biggest worry. Always you can improve the turning but sincerely I was expecting a bike that would turn less.
“The weakest point is the acceleration but the turning is not bad. The bike is all the way in the corner really stable.
“You can always improve the change of direction but with the geometry we can improve. So it's not a really bad thing like we need a new frame. In higher RPMs the bike is fast. But we need to improve acceleration.
“In the electronics we need to improve a little bit. We need to do more tests tomorrow to collect more info. The guys are working in Noale and will have more info to develop the engine.”
Speaking of his first impressions working with the Aprilia squad, Espargaro added, “I'm happy overall. The first run out of the pits I liked the bike.
“It's really comfortable. It's bigger. I like this bike. The most important thing is all the crew with me are really enthusiastic. They are really focused on improving the bike, listening to all my comments, so this for me is unbelievable. It obviously puts a lot of pressure on me but I'm really happy.”