Aprilia Team Gresini has unveiled its all new RS-GP 2020 machine ahead of the pre-season shakedown at the Sepang International Circuit, displaying a greater use of aerodynamic appendages.
The Noale marque has been developing a brand new bike to replace the outgoing RS-GP, which struggled for results in the hands of top riders such as Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro.
Its best finish in MotoGP since Aprilia re-entered the premier class have been a succession of sixths, primarily at the Aragon circuit in Spain, where the high frequency of corners that demand a stable rear end played well to the RS-GP’s strengths.
Espargaro has aired his frustrations over the lack of progress made with the bike across the last couple of years, prompting Aprilia to sign ex-Ferrari Formula 1 man Massimo Rivola to head up the team- allowing long-time boss Romano Albesiano to focus on developing the new challenger.
The updated RS-GP looks set to ditch introduce a new 90-degree V4 engine layout-more similar to those used by the likes of Yamaha, Honda and Ducati-in place of its old 75-degree powertrain layout.
It will also utilise an all-new aerodynamic package, following in the footsteps of the front-running teams-though largely pioneered by Ducati- in an attempt to slice the gap to the leaders.
Espargaro looks set to be joined at the first pre-season test of ’20 by ex-Aprilia World Superbike racer Lorenzo Savadori, as Iannone continues to await a verdict on a possible suspension after being found guilty on a doping charge late last year.
Aprilia test rider Bradley Smith mooted to replace him should the Italian pick up a lengthy ban.