Aprilia: 'The new aerodynamics change the riding style'

Will Aprilia’s aero push pay off in MotoGP 2024?

Maverick Vinales, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February
Maverick Vinales, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February

Aprilia has bet heavily on aerodynamics for the 2024 RS-GP, but the large range of new aero parts has also changed the balance and riding style needed for the bike.

While Aleix Espargaro was quick to master the extra downforce and resulting weight, team-mate Maverick Vinales and Trackhouse’s Miguel Oliveira took longer to adapt.

But by the end of the Qatar MotoGP test, Vinales had joined Espargaro in the top six, while Oliveira delivered his best day of the pre-season in twelfth (+0.884s). Both seemed more comfortable on the standard rear aero, rather than the new diffuser style design.

“We tested many, many things in all the areas, but in particular in the aerodynamic side we tested a lot,” Aprilia team manager Paolo Bonora told MotoGP.com

“And we worked on the chassis and electronic side to adjust the package for the new aerodynamics.

“At the end of this test we fixed a few question marks that we had after the Sepang test.

“We defined the first set-up for Aleix and Maverick and we defined in a better way how to use the new bike.

“Because the new aerodynamics change the riding style and it’s necessary to adapt to the new set-up.”

Engine development appears to have been minimised by Aprilia for 2024. 

That is good news at least for Oliveira’s team-mate Raul Fernandez, on the 2023 spec bike, who is set to be upgraded to the 2024 parts during the year.

Aprilia, Ducati and KTM riders are unable to change engine design during the season.

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