Andrea Iannone literally found himself in the hot seat at Aprilia when the engine on his RS-GP exploded on the Valencia main straight, during the final day of this week's MotoGP test.

The Italian fortunately kept control and, having stopped, calmly held the bike upright while marshals successfully extinguished the blaze (see below).

But Iannone wasn't quite so relaxed upon his return to the pits. The live TV broadcast picked up some angry words directed towards the team, the #29 fearing the consequences if he had hit the wall at 300km/h and saying he had warned the bike was not running right.

Iannone had calmed down by the close of testing, explaining the engine had been taken to the limit in pursuit of more horsepower, by running at a higher RPM for longer.

"In a dangerous situation it's normal to be frightened or angry," Iannone said of the moments after the fire.

"We tried a different solution to improve power, so we tried to push the bike a little bit more on the limit and this happened.

"But it's always like this. If we try, we understand. If we don’t try, we remain at the same level and understand nothing."

With the radically-revised 2020 Aprilia not due to debut until Sepang in February, pushing the existing components harder, plus some electronics work, was one of the main data gathering exercises for Iannone and team-mate Aleix Espargaro at the Valencia test.

"The positive is that we continued to work every day to improve the bike. We never give up," Iannone said.

"The engine brake improved a lot. We also worked on traction control.

"For the Jerez test we will re-try different solutions we used during the season, while we wait for the new bike to arrive at Sepang."

Espargaro was 16th, Iannone 19th and test rider Bradley Smith 21st on the final day at Valencia.

 

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