While other factories were on track with prototype versions of their 2020 MotoGP machines at Valencia and Jerez, Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone remained on this year's RS-GP.

A design 'revolution' is being made for the 2020 Aprilia, but the new machine won't be seen on track until next year, leaving Espargaro to spend the recent tests "trying different electronic configurations, set-ups and ideas.

"But we cannot improve more with the bike we have now, so a revolution was necessary and I can't wait for the new bike," Espargaro said.

What does Espargaro know so far about the 2020 machine?

"Many things. I talked with Romano [Albesiano] and I also saw CAD [drawings] of the new bike. The ideas are good and everything looks promising.

"The engine is different. The chassis is different, the electronics, the position of the rider... A small difference everywhere, but everywhere is different.

"This is also why the tests [at Valencia and Jerez] with this bike have no big meaning, because if the rider position changes [on the new bike] everything will change - the geometry, the setting, everything.

"We know where we want to go [with the concept of the new bike] but then we will see how good the engineers are at putting this [into practice] because it's not easy. I can't wait."

In terms of the timescale for the new bike, Espargaro expects one 2020 machine will be ready for each rider at the Sepang tests, hopefully with a shakedown-style systems check before leaving Europe at the end of January.

"I don’t know if in Malaysia we will receive the full version of the new engine, but part of the engine is already very different," Espargaro said.

"The plan is to receive at least one RS-GP 2020 [for each rider] in Malaysia in February and I can't wait, the bike looks promising, very different.

"We're trying the maximum and, if it's possible, we'll try the bike [for a shakedown] at an airport or whatever before we leave Europe. But we are in the limit with the time.

"Anyway, to have one bike [each] is already good. I don’t need two bikes for the first test, I think to do back-to-back tests with the old bike at the first test is quite good. It's also interesting.

"Obviously to have three bikes [one 2019, two 2020] would be the best thing because then you can try the old bike the first day and after that the [new bikes].

"So then you can compare the two new bikes with different settings and you are a lot quicker to try new things. But it is how it is, so let's try to be positive!"

Since Aprilia and KTM are eligible for technical concessions, Espargaro confirmed that he will ride in both the Shakedown and Official tests at Sepang next year. The concessions also mean Aprilia's engine design can be changed during the season, meaning there is less pressure to have a full 2020 engine ready for Sepang.

Aprilia finished sixth and last in this year's constructors' championship, although Iannone matched the RS-GP's best result of sixth, at Phillip Island, and briefly led the race.

Espargaro qualified fifth at Aragon, where he took his season-best finish of seventh and was higher in the riders' standings with 14th overall (63 points) compared to Iannone's 16th (43 points).

Espargaro and Iannone were 13th and 14th fastest respectively at this week's final test of the year at Jerez.

 

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