UPDATE from Aprilia: 'Specifically to pick up on the work begun a month ago in Jerez in better conditions, Aprilia Racing and Andrea Dovizioso are assessing the possibility of another test to be held during the month of June.'

Rain at Mugello meant that the full potential of the Aprilia RS-GP still remains a mystery to Andrea Dovizioso.

After an exploratory outing at Jerez last month, largely spent working on riding position, the triple MotoGP title runner-up had high hopes of being able to push the machine to the limit during two days at Mugello.

But the weather had other ideas.

"Unfortunately, the weather was really bad," Dovizioso said via zoom at lunchtime on Wednesday. "We could do two exits in the dry yesterday morning, which was enough to try a different riding position, but I couldn't push.

"Then we rode in the wet a bit yesterday, but there was a lot of water. Today the conditions were a bit more normal for the wet and we did a lot of exits because we wanted to use the time we had. Also because the track grip wasn't special, so it was good to do some tests and try to understand what worked and not.

"So at the end we have been very unlucky because two days in Mugello was very important and it's a really wonderful track, I was really happy to do this test here. But we couldn't try the bike in the dry.

"Anyway we used this morning, 3 hours, to try and give feedback [in the wet]. So I'm happy about that. The feeling was good. But I can't say much more unfortunately."

Never one to jump to hasty conclusions, Dovizioso emphasised that he can't accurately comment on the bike until he experiences it when pushed to the limit.

"Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of feedback to explain to you, and unfortunately I don’t have a lot of feedback to explain to Aprilia still!" he smiled.

"I have some ideas but normally I'm quite calm to say something because you have to push and be fast to understand all the details. Because you can have immediately some feeling, but it's important to understand the feeling when you are pushing. And still I couldn't have that condition.

"So I think it's not too smart to speak about details in this moment, because I have some ideas for sure, but it's too early unfortunately."

It's also too early to speak of a third Aprilia test, although Dovizioso did seem to rule out a wild-card appearance, at least until he has tried the bike in fully dry conditions.

"I was clear from the beginning - and it was true! – I wanted to do two tests and this is what happened," he said.

"I don’t think it's important to speak about [a wild-card] race because it wasn't in the plan for me, in this moment. And I couldn't still push with this bike. So in my opinion there is no reason, in this moment, to think about racing.

"Maybe I will have a chance to do some other tests, but we have to speak about that."


Aprilia technical director Romano Albesiano added: "Even with the adverse weather, these were two important days. In any case, we tested the RS-GP in the wet for the first time and the indications we had from an expert rider like Andrea are extremely valuable. And, I must say that Andrea lapped rather well in these conditions, with rather interesting times.

"There is also an aspect that is less connected to pure performance and more to reciprocally getting to know one another that obviously improves with every date. The two days in Mugello were a chance to learn how to get better acquainted and work well together."

Having expressed a desire to return to MotoGP full-time in 2022 if presented with competitive machinery, does Dovizioso currently see Aprilia as his best option? When might talks start for next season?

"I'm living my life in this moment day by day because I don’t have any stress about that, because if there will be a good situation for me, I will take it. I don’t know about my future, I think still it's not the moment to speak about the future," replied the 34-year-old former Honda and Ducati rider.

"I'm quite happy. I have more time to do some other things than what I did for the last 19 years. And that is good anyway. I'm happy to have this chance with Aprilia to stay on a MotoGP bike and understand better this situation."

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro is currently seventh in the world championship after four rounds, matching the factory's best four-stroke result of sixth place in the last two races.

 

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