Grand prix

Jerez test, Wind tunnel work as Aprilia signs off most successful MotoGP season | MotoGP

Test rider Lorenzo Savadori joined Ducati’s Michele Pirro on track for two days of private testing in Spain, completing 134 laps in mixed weather conditions, ‘working especially on new electronics configurations’ for 2023.

Meanwhile, factory race riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales flew to Cologne for a day of wind tunnel testing, where they were also joined by Aprilia’s new satellite RNF team riders Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez.

Espargaro, who took Aprilia’s first premier-class victory plus five other podiums, and Vinales, who claimed three further rostrums, ‘worked on the first 2023 prototype, the characteristics of which will be analysed and refined over the winter break’.

Aerodynamics is already an area where Aprilia is seen as being one of the best in MotoGP, with its rivals now starting to experiment with the innovative ‘ground effect’ lower fairing shape.

For Oliveira, an impressive fourth fastest on his Aprilia debut at Valencia, and Fernandez the focus was on optimising their aerodynamic position on the bike.

While RNF will race 2022-spec machines next season, Espargaro and Vinales will make their debut on the 2023 Aprilia prototype during the official Sepang test next February.

Will RNF get 2023 Aprilia upgrades?

RNF team manager Wilco Zeelenberg said it is possible the satellite team will receive some 2023 upgrades during next year, but much will depend on whether the parts are interchangeable with the 2022 design.

“All that depends on how the 2023 Aprilia will be,” said the Dutchman. “They built a fantastic bike this season and this is the bike we will start with. But there are no limits to improve our bikes as well [during next season].

“I think we also need to be realistic, to see how big the change will be from the 2022 to 2023. Because if they change completely the whole bike – and I don’t have this information – then it will be not so realistic that we will get the new [parts] straight away.

“But if it’s just small updates on cowlings or stuff that we are able to change then this is of course a negotiable and they really want us to perform in the best way possible.”

Other factories are also planning private outings, without their race riders, before the end of this year – including, according to Marca.com, a MotoGP debut for Pedro Acosta on the KTM RC16 at Jerez this weekend.

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