Before the 2020 season started, Aleix Espargaro had high hopes for Aprilia which ended in disappointment.
At the Sepang test in 2020, Aleix Espargaro was incredibly happy with the 2020 version of the Aprilia RS-GP, pleased about their steps forward in turning the bike around and making it into more of a front runner, developments which Andrea Iannone graciously took full credit for like the gentleman he is.
They unveiled a new 90-degree V engine design for 2020, however since these Sepang tests, Aprilia have had a less than desirable season, they were forced to detune their new engine at the start of the season following blow ups in the pre-season Jerez test, instantly putting them at a disadvantage given the horsepower they had to sacrifice.
Since these problems, they did raise the RPM slightly but suffered majorly with power all season with Aleix noting that he cannot overtake any riders due to a lack of horsepower and acceleration, watching other riders disappear out of a corner, forcing him to brake harder into the next one to make up time.
Aleix has said that their bike is even better than the KTM which has won 3 x races in 2020, but their issues with their engine mean they are unable to fight due to a lack of power, all season long he has struggled, taking only 3 x top 10 finishes all season in Brno, Valencia 2 and Portimao where he took a season-best P8 overall, finishing in P17 overall in the standings, absolutely not where he expected to finish.
Aleix on the 2020 RS-GP during the 2020 pre season tests
He was positive following Portimao with his third top 10 of the season, looking hopeful for 2021 as the Aprilia squad move to test in Jerez just says after the Portimao race, Aleix said, “I am very happy about my performance [In Portimao], I did a lot of overtakes with strong pace from other riders, I was almost faster than qualifying.”
If it wasn’t for my qualifying I think I would’ve been able to fight for a top 5, but we know what we need to improve for next season.”
He is deeply unhappy about 2020, expecting much more, he puts a lot of pressure on himself to perform and has previously said he hopes to give Aprilia their first MotoGP podium, this is his goal and he is yet to achieve this, he spoke about his 2020 season saying, “I am not happy about 2020, I always put a lot of pressure on myself and I cannot be happy about this year’s results, I am very unhappy.
When I tried the bike for the first time I was very happy, when I tested the 2020 bike for the first time in Malaysia I said it was the best bike I have ever ridden, but it wasn’t enough to fight for my goals and targets, I know what we have to improve, for 2021 we need to improve some areas to fight for the top 6.”
Aprilia’s best result in MotoGP is P6, something which has not been achieved since Phillip Island 2019.
Featured image – www.motogp.com