Last year's Aragon MotoGP marked a new high for the Aprilia RS-GP project, with Aleix Espargaro matching the machine's best finish of sixth, at a closest ever 6.962s from victory.

That kind of result looks hard to replicate in this weekend's 2018 return, with Aprilia yet to match the results of last year (best result of ninth) and also struggling for reliability.

But if there is any circuit where Espargaro can turn things around, Aragon - in front of his home fans - might be it.

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"Last year I was very competitive in Aragón," confirmed Espargaro. "Repeating that performance will not be easy. The championship level has gone up incredibly and we need to continue working non-stop to close the gap behind the leaders."

The Spaniard, who had a new crew chief for Misano, remained at the circuit for private post-race testing after a 14th place in the grand prix.

"The Misano tests were truly important. I hope to take another step forward and to be able to battle consistently in the top ten," Espargaro said.

Team-mate Scott Redding is approaching Aragon with a 'realistic' aim; returning to the points for the first time since July's German Grand Prix.

"Aragon is not a simple circuit to tackle, but I like it. After the Misano test, I think I'll be able to recover a bit of competitiveness.

"We need to have realistic goals: working well to prepare for the race, making the right choices and battling in the points zone."

The Englishman is still to confirm his 2019 plans, but is understood to have a BSB offer on the table from PBM.

Despite a tough season, Aprilia is 12 points from KTM in the fight to avoid last place in the constructors' championship.



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