Sam Lowes used Wednesday to put a number of new Aprilia parts through their paces at a private test at the Circuit of Catalunya outside Barcelona.

A new seat, revised aerodynamic fairing and new electronics strategy were all on Lowes' test list, as he spent a full day posting laps under the searing sun and 30 degrees of temperature.

In the Englishman's opinion, Aprilia's revised fairing, which is slightly different to the one he had used in previous races, was a definite improvement, and provided him with greater confidence on the front end of the bike.

"We did another step with the fairing today," said Lowes, who set the twelfth fastest time of the day.

"It was different. I didn't feel a big difference, but it's to try and get the new design a bit more aero [friendly] because we lose a bit of speed with it. Now they've changed it a bit more. We'll look on the data and see, but it felt quite good for me.

"In some of the corners it's a little bit heavier with the bigger fairing. But it's not a lot. I feel the bike more stable and the front more on the track. If anything, it's rare that you do something to a motorbike and it's all positive.

"I'd take a little of it being heavier going in, because I'd have more confidence to force it. Whereas before I wouldn't. For me it's a good way. Aleix tried it and didn't really like it so we'll see what we have at Mugello.

"[It helped with the wheelie] A lot. It means you can have less wheelie control and keep the throttle more open, which is helping the top speed."

His positive feelings with the fairing were backed up by good feedback with one of two new seat units that he used, along with new torque maps.

"The stiffness [was different] because sometimes when the bike moves, I move a lot. Then the movement lasts too long down the straight. We tried one which was too stiff.

"The middle one is what I'll probably use in Mugello. It was good to control the movement. It's nearly exactly the same over the bumps here. The shape and the height is the same.

"We continued with the new strategy. We had some new torque maps, which was a different way with the torque. We found a lot more in the bottom end but it's about getting the smoothness in.

"We worked a lot on that today and I found something else I was happy with. So we'll take that to Mugello. I don't know if Aleix used it today but I think both of us will use it at Mugello.

"We didn't use the soft tyre again. I did my best lap on lap twelve with the hard tyre. OK, it's not an amazing lap time. But here is really difficult for the race pace. Guys are making 1m 44s, and then in the race run they're making 46s and 47s. I'm quite happy with that.

"I think we'll be quite strong for race distance. We made some good steps today. We tried so many things on the bike, it was nice to see the difference, feel the difference, and the team are really happy with the way we've worked today. It's been really positive."

By Neil Morrison

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