FIRST LOOK: Espargaro, Vinales unveil 2022 Aprilia MotoGP livery

Aprilia presents its 2022 MotoGP colours for Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales.
FIRST LOOK: Espargaro, Vinales unveil 2022 Aprilia MotoGP livery

This is Aprilia's new 2022 MotoGP livery, with which Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales will be seeking to build on last year's debut RS-GP podium and fight for the factory's first premier-class win.

The early signs certainly look promising, with both Espargaro and Vinales consistently at the top during the recent Sepang tests.

Espargaro, who gave the RS-GP its Silverstone rostrum, spoke of incredible turning ability from the slimmer 2022 design, his only concern in Malaysia being whether other bikes ahead might block the cornering potential in a race situation.

“I can't wait to get back on the track with my team. After many years together, they are no longer just mechs and techs. They are truly part of my family and, from that point of view, the winter break always seems too long," Espargaro said. "I'm extremely pumped up. The years may pass, but I am still just as hungry as I was when I began and I'm at the top of my game physically.

"For the first tests, I chose a helmet with graphics dedicated to all Aprilia’s fist podiums in the various classes, including the one we earned together at Silverstone. It seems like the right way to kick off the season and pay tribute to this brand’s great racing heritage. The goal is obviously to add more images to this gallery”.

FIRST LOOK: Espargaro, Vinales unveil 2022 Aprilia MotoGP livery

While Espargaro is preparing for his sixth season at Aprilia, Vinales only has five RS-GP races under his belt following a shock mid-season split from Yamaha.

After a best of eighth place as he adjusted to the new team and bike last season, Vinales was a close match for Espargaro throughout Sepang and, as a proven (nine time) MotoGP winner for Suzuki and Yamaha, is by far the most successful rider Aprilia have signed since the RS-GP project began.

“From my first moment on this team, I realised that I had been chosen for a purpose - to take Aprilia to the top of modern MotoGP," Vinales said. "This is the goal we are all working towards. I don’t think it’s fair to make predictions. I prefer focusing on the job at hand and on preparing because I believe that results are a direct consequence of our efforts.

"We had the great opportunity of getting to know one another ahead of time, doing a few races together and beginning to understand our reciprocal needs. We’ll need to exploit this advantage as much as possible. I am highly satisfied with the job the racing department did over the winter and now all that’s left is to show our progress on the track”.

2022 could indeed be - on paper - Aprilia's strongest season yet and, if more podiums follow, their last chance to exploit the benefits of the MotoGP technical concessions in areas such as engine design and testing.

Aprilia's potential should become clearer during the final pre-season test, which starts at Indonesia's new Mandalika circuit tomorrow.

This year will be the first for Aprilia with its own MotoGP grid places, having partnered with Gresini for the previous seven years.

“This is an important season. We are coming into MotoGP as a Factory Team precisely on the thirtieth anniversary of Aprilia’s first World Championship GP Motorcycle Racing title, won with Alex Gramigni," said Aprilia Racing boss Massimo Rivola. "This is a great responsibility, but also an injection of extra motivation.

"The racing department is now a group of highly skilled individuals who work extremely well together and with a strong Italian footprint that we are extremely proud of. We are working well and the competitiveness we demonstrated last year must be just the starting points.

"The ’21 season was a good one, but we need to forget about it straight away and look forward. In my opinion, the 2022 RS-GP will be the most beautiful bike on the grid and I hope that it will also be one of the fastest. I think we have done some significant work, certain of the direction we have taken.

"We have three top-level riders: the "team captain" Aleix and a great champion like Maverick who we are getting to know better and better every day. Lorenzo [Savadori] will be our test rider. In spite of a season conditioned by injuries, he demonstrated significant growth and he will be a big help in developing the project”.

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