Aprilia Team Gresini on Thursday showed off the livery for its 2021 RS-GP machine, the Italian manufacturer also announcing Lorenzo Savadori as Aleix Espargaro’s team-mate for the upcoming campaign.
The upgraded RS-GP sports a minimally revised livery for the new season, with the general design remaining markedly similar to the ’20 paint scheme, with a reduction in the amount of green the main change.
The ’21 MotoGP campaign marks the final year of Gresini Racing running Aprilia’s factory programme after seven years, the Noale-based marque taking sole control of its premier class operation from ’22 onwards while Gresini moves back to running as an independent entity, though the machinery it will use is yet to be determined.
It may elect to remain tied to Aprilia as its main satellite team, though a return to long-time bike supplier Honda could also be in the offing.
Espargaro will start his fifth season in Aprilia colours having ended ’20 with a pair of strong runs into the top ten at Valencia and Portimao, the Spaniard keen to capture the manufacturer’s first premier class rostrum since the 2000 British Grand Prix at Donington Park.
He has scored a best result of sixth in three occasions with the RS-GP over his four years with the team, a best riders championship finish of 14th coming in ’19 after collecting a total of 63 points.
Savadori joins Aprilia full-time after competing in the final three encounters of ’20 in place of fellow test rider Bradley Smith, the Italian getting the nod for the second seat having spent the last few seasons as a tester for the squad himself.
The ’21 season will be Gresini’s first campaign without the guidance of team owner Fausto Gresini, who sadly passed away following a long battle with Covid-19 last week, with a short tribute aired to the two-time 125cc world champion prior to the new RS-GP’s unveiling.