Fresh from its most competitive MotoGP season, highlighted by a debut win by Aleix Espargaro in Argentina, the Noale manufacturer unleashed a series of winglets and other aero tweaks – in addition to its 2023 fairing updates - during the final pre-season test in Portimao.

New wings sprouted from the front fork and various areas of the swingarm as well as a revised rear seat wing. Other aero parts popped up in areas such as the front wheel.

“Next is on the shoulders!” joked Maverick Vinales, before admitting: “You notice the difference a lot [from the extra aero], especially when it’s about downforce.”

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“It makes a big difference,” agreed team-mate Espargaro. “We tried a lot of new items [wings]. The fork ones. The rear one. And then also on the wheel. We tried different configurations.

“The downforce was huge. Actually, with the full [wing] configuration the corner speed in the last corner and before the climb was super high. Now it’s time to study a little bit, to analyse.

"There are [wing] configurations you can use in the Sprint races and also qualifying, on one circuit you can remove one or add another one.

“It’s time to try to understand these things.”

RNF Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez was also impressed by the aero effort going on in the factory garage.

“Aprilia are well aware that we are really excited and have a lot of hopes for this season. It is a brand that is creating miracles with what they have because it’s a small factory,” he said.

Fortunately, Vinales’ joke about ‘shoulder wings’ cannot become a reality, with a MotoGP rule amendment in late 2021 clarifying:

“The only purpose of any part of the rider’s race suit, boots and gloves should be to ensure that the rider is protected in an incident. Therefore, any part of the equipment that is deemed to be purely for the purpose of aiding rider’s aero effect is not permitted. The decision of the Technical Director will be final when determining what constitutes aero only.”