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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Dovizioso’s Aprilia MotoGP bike feedback ‘similar’ to Espargaro

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Dovizioso, who is taking a sabbatical from racing in 2021 after losing his Ducati ride last season, spent three days riding the Aprilia at Jerez earlier this week.

The 15-time MotoGP race winner worked primarily on getting used to the RS-GP having spent eight years riding the Ducati and didn’t give much away about the positive and negative points of the Aprilia.

Espargaro admits he hasn’t been told much about the test, but says Aprilia technical director Romano Albesiano noted Dovizioso was “saying exactly the same things as me” regarding the bike.

“Sincerely I don’t have a lot of information about the test yet,” Espargaro said.

“I talked a little bit with Romano and he explained it to me a little bit, but it wasn’t a lot of info because after three days they have a lot of info.

“But I don’t think Andrea has tried something that can help me for the moment. I think he was just trying to have the feeling back again after such a long time without riding, trying to understand the bike.

“My riding style is a little bit more… I try to do more corner speed because I think this is what the Aprilia bike wants. And Andrea is more used to stop-and-go, but not because it’s his riding style but because the Ducati didn’t allow him to use corner speed.

“The first impression Romano gave me was he was saying exactly the same things as me.

“It was fun for Romano because he said to me it looked like he was listening to me in a lot of his explanation, so that’s good. It means we understand the bike in the same way.

“It’s just the first test, he has a lot of things to try but it means we have a similar understanding of the bike.”

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Dovizioso will ride the Aprilia again in another private test on May 11-12, this time at Mugello.

Last month Dovizioso’s manager admitted he didn’t expect his rider would race the Aprilia in 2021, with Dovizioso saying earlier this week testing the bike was “smart” for him as he works towards a full-time MotoGP return in 2022.

Aprilia is permitted to field a rider for six wildcard appearances in 2021, which opens the door for Dovizioso to race this season should both parties wish.

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