Aleix Espargaro arrived in England hopeful that a new chassis can fuel a turnaround after a series of frustrating MotoGP for both he and Aprilia.

The Catalan was present at Misano last weekend with a variety of new parts to try, including a frame, an engine and a revised carbon swingarm. “We tried more things in the last test than in the last year,” he said.

Of those parts, only the chassis is available in his side of the garage this weekend. In certain rounds this year, the 28-year old has complained of a lack of front-end feel, and he feels the new frame aids front stability, especially in fast corners.

“It was a good test,” he said of last weekend’s outing on the Adriatic coast. “Actually, we tried more things in the last test than in the last year, I would say. It was a busy day. We tried a different engine configuration, we retried the carbon swingarm, we tried a new frame. It was not enough time, actually, it would be a lot better if we had had one or two days more, but one day was good enough.

Silverstone MotoGP

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“I will have one of my two bikes here with the new frame. It gives me a little bit more stability, and in the fast corner in Misano, I felt a lot stronger, I could maintain a lot higher speed in the centre of the corner, so Silverstone is a very fast track, and they say it's very bumpy, I heard, so I think that this extra stability, it will help us.”

Pressed on the specifics of the new chassis, he continued, “I would say that it gives me more stability, so when you have more stability on the brakes and less inertia everywhere, it allows you to turn more confidently and try to turn more.

“We didn't improve the turning at all, but the stability was quite a bit better, at least in Misano. So especially in the slow corners it was quite similar, but in the fast corners, it allowed me to throw the bike in with more confidence.

“I did I think four or five back-to-back tests, moving the wheels from one bike to the other, and every time it was exactly the same, better in stability. So really convinced me, because with the year I'm having, I don't want to have too many events, I just want to have normal weekends. But I really liked it so this is why I decided to use it.”

On the engine he tried, Espargaro said, “It's a completely different engine configuration, I think you have to ask Romano [Albesiano – Aprilia technical chief] for the details. It was slightly better. Scott feels a lot better, I felt slightly better.

“I think we have to work on it, it's completely different to the current one, but I didn't feel a big advantage in terms of time. But obviously, if we spent more time with that engine, maybe we can go further, but it's not more powerful, and this is what we really need.

“I don't have it here, not yet. I think Scott maybe he will use one, but I will not. Maybe I will use one in Misano or Aragon, I don't know. But not here, because I am having more problems with the engines than Scott, so I am really on the limit with engines. My engines this weekend are quite high mileage, but I cannot use a new engine here.”

And the swingarm? “We reduced the weight by more than half a kilo from the current one,” he said, “but it still doesn't really convince me to use it. The last one I tried was better, but still, when the bike slides – and this year, the bike slides quite a lot – the grip is not fantastic, and the instability is higher.

“So it moves more aggressively. So I want to try it again, more calmly. Because it's just about weight, it's not much better in any other aspect except weight, so I don't want to risk it.”



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