Gresini Aprilia rider Sam Lowes says he’s raring to get going next week at the third and final MotoGP pre-season test as he finally gets the chance to test the Italian manufacturer’s new and improved RS-GP machine for the first time.
Concentrating on learning the craft of riding a MotoGP machine while teammate Aleix Espargaró has handled the lion’s share of the development work – but with the final test looming at the Losail circuit, Lowes can’t wait.
“The bike looks really nice, a lot better than last year’s bike, very Italian, and it’ll look good on track. It’ll stand out well! But the bike I’ll be racing in Qatar will be really different to this one!
“At the minute we’re still working to understand the bike, but at the Qatar test I’ll use the new one for the first time. The problems or issues I had in Phillip Island once I was on a not bad pace were all issues that the new bike should fix. I made the same comments that the riders made last year, and that’s good.
“It’s not totally different – I’m not going from a two-stroke to a four-stroke – but it’s an evolvement of last year’s totally new one. But Aleix is very positive and has no real negatives with it, so if I can jump on it and have no negatives it’s a fantastic thing. I can’t wait to ride it.”
Another big plus on the new bike looks set to be a better engine, with Aprilia’s engineers working hard to improve the low end power for Lowes and Espargaró.
“The engine is quite smooth, but we still need a little more in the lower part, for it to be a little more linear. But the new engine in theory, on they dyno, has that, and we’ll have that in Qatar too.
‘It’s going in a good way though, and the bike is really quite fast once it gets going. Even compared to the Honda and the Yamaha it’s fast, although the Ducati is a step above everyone else. It’s just getting it off the slower corners where we lose a little, but hopefully that’s been improved for us.”
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