Grand prix

MotoGP Mugello: Aprilia’s F1-style rear wing ‘makes a difference’ | MotoGP

The device appeared on the back of test rider Lorenzo Savadori’s RS-GP during Friday practice in Italy.

Although the new aerodynamics were not tried by factory star Aleix Espargaro, who set the fastest time of the day, the Spaniard explained that the wing is designed to increase load on the rear wheel, improving the first phrase of braking performance:

“I was not able to try the rear wing, but I saw the data from the wind tunnel and it’s interesting,” Espargaro said. “It looks like it’s just pure marketing, but believe me, it makes a difference.

“Yeah, it reminds you of Formula One, but it gives a lot of weight in some places and now in MotoGP we’re talking about details.

“We are lacking a little bit of weight on the rear. This is why I cannot increase the engine brake, so I pushed them to create more load on the rear.

“They’re working in different areas to improve this and one [solution] was the aerodynamics.”

But having enjoyed such a strong start to the weekend, Espargaro thinks he will now postpone trying the device for himself until the Catalunya test.

“Maybe the plan was to try tomorrow but the bike works good and I’m fast so I will wait,” he said.

One new Aprilia innovation Espargaro did make use of on Friday was an upgraded engine.

“I tried the new engine. It’s not a huge difference but you could see the top speed of Maverick, Lorenzo and me has been quite fast. More than 350 and very close to the Ducati,” he said.

“We still have some problem with sixth gear, it’s very difficult this track with a small bump [on the main straight] because it creates some [spike] in the RPMs.

“But the bike is fast, and I hope it will help me on Sunday.”

Espargaro’s team-mate Maverick Vinales was 17th fastest with Savadori 26th and last.

“Today we primarily tested the new aerodynamic item Aprilia brought,” Savadori said. “There is still work that needs to be done to make it perform better.

“That’s why I didn’t focus on the time attack or pure speed, but I am extremely happy to be here in Mugello and to see Aleix competitive yet again.”

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