The start of the European MotoGP season at Jerez this weekend also marks the first stage of upgrades for Aprilia's all-new RS-GP machine.

These will take the form of chassis, electronic and aerodynamic developments. News of the latter naturally suggests the factory will join Ducati, Yamaha and Honda in using winglets.

Asked if the Jerez upgrades include winglets, the team replied "Maybe..."

Aprilia racing manager Romano Albesiano stated: "In the first three races of the season we were able to collect a lot of data that also highlight the areas where we need to improve the most right now.

"Building from there, we have laid out our development schedule for the European races, a programme that will begin already this weekend with the first, important steps in terms of the chassis, electronics and aerodynamics."

Riders Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista are currently 14th and 15th in the standings after the opening rounds in Qatar, Argentina and Austin.

"Jerez is Alvaro's home race and he did very well here last year, whereas Stefan is enjoying a good trend, as his recent results demonstrate," Albesiano said. "I expect that both of them, also considering the characteristics of the track, will be able to take another step forward in terms of performance."

Bradl took the RS-GP's best result with seventh in Argentina.

By Peter McLaren