Andrea Dovizioso completes his much anticipated return for Aprilia at Jerez, with a further test likely to happen at Mugello.

The Italian rider enjoyed a return to MotoGP machinery for the first time since November onboard the 2021 RS-GP bike, which was also his first appearance for Aprilia since his 125cc World Championship debut in 2001. 

When the news was released last month that Dovizioso would be testing at Jerez, many speculated whether this could lead to an imminent return either full-time or with potential wildcards. While nothing has been confirmed, it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on. 

The 2021 season has been Aprilia’s best start to a MotoGP campaign yet, with Aleix Espargaro claiming two top tens in Qatar. 

Given Aprilia’s improvements this year, along with Dovizioso’s experience and winning pedigree, it was an opportunity not to be missed on both sides. 

Asked about why he chose to test the Aprilia at Jerez, Dovizioso said: "It’s because my passion is still MotoGP. 

"I would like to race next year, so I think it was smart to be on the track and I’m really happy, because Aprilia give me the possibility to do that and in the right way. 

"I’m really happy about that and I think it is positive in any case whether I will race next year or not."

Dovizioso has been one of the most consistent riders in recent years - experience that would no doubt be valuable to Aprilia, who remain the only manufacturer on the grid without a win. 

Windy conditions played a prominent role during today’s final day of testing, which means Dovizioso only completed half a day.

But while it’s still too early to assess the bike’s full potential, the 35 year-old alluded to positioning on the bike being the main focus of this test, while having ‘some ideas’ about the RS-GP’ strengths. 

"I think every MotoGP rider is able to be fast, but to be there and fight for the important lap time is a different story. I have some ideas, but I don’t think everything is clear which is normal as it takes time to push the bike to the limit and feel comfortable on the bike," added Dovizioso. 

"I am speaking about the position, and not about how the bike worked, because the position especially in MotoGP, I think is even more important than the other championships, because in the way you ride you need to be very precise. 

"The position affects a lot the way you ride. Like every bike, it has positives and negatives, but I had a really good feeling."  

It remains to be seen whether Dovizioso will at all make a competitive appearance for Aprilia in 2021, however, it sounds like another test is being lined up in Mugello. 

"Next will be to do another test as we want to work more on the position of the bike and on some other details which takes time," said the former Ducati rider. 

"I think we will organise another test and it will be at Mugello in around one month probably, so that is the plan."

 

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