MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso seeks third Aprilia test due to wet conditions at Mugello
Andrea Dovizioso and Aprilia are assessing the possibility of a third test together next month after wet weather hampered this week's two-day Mugello test.
The Italian was hoping to push the RS-GP to its limits across the two days after being introduced to the machine during a two-day outing at Jerez in April. After becoming more accustomed to the bike, Mugello would have been the perfect location to push forwards.
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However, the weather had other ideas. Dovizioso only had two stints on the dry on the opening day, assessing his position on the bike in the process, before conditions improved slightly on day two for some runs in the wet. Across the two days Dovizioso completed just 45 laps.
"I was very happy to get back on the track with Aprilia, especially here in Mugello," Dovizioso said. "It is a special circuit. The emotion I feel lapping on this track is unique. We weren’t lucky with the weather, but we still tried to exploit these two days of testing. The grip was certainly not ideal for pushing hard, so we focused on understanding and improving the way the RS-GP performs in these conditions.
"At the end of the previous test, I did not express any definitive opinions because it was just an initial contact, and I think it would be wrong to do so now after two days of rain. I clearly have some ideas, but I think it would be ideal to have another chance to get to know the Aprilia better."
With a third test being looked at, rumours will continue to circulate regarding a possible wildcard appearance at some stage this season. However, Dovizioso was again quick to play down any speculation, insisting that the plan has always been to simply do two tests.
"I am very happy about the interest generated by my return to a MotoGP bike but, as I have already said, I do not have any long-term plans," Dovizioso added. "I'm having fun, I am relaxed, and I’ll evaluate my decisions one step at a time."
Dovizioso explained further by stating that he's happy to have the chance to try different things now that he's not a full-time MotoGP competitor and that he simply takes things day by day. There's no doubt that Aprilia would be delighted if they could convince the three-time runner-up to join their project next season.
"Even with the adverse weather, these were two important days," Aprilia Racing technical director, Romano Albesiano added. "In any case, we tested the RS-GP in the wet for the first time and the indications we had from an expert rider like Andrea are extremely valuable. And, I must say that Andrea lapped rather well in these conditions, with rather interesting times.
"There is also an aspect that is less connected to pure performance and more to reciprocally getting to know one another that obviously improves with every date. The two days in Mugello were a chance to learn how to get better acquainted and work well together."
MotoGP: Aprilia confirm second test with Andrea Dovizioso at Mugello
First published: 14 April 2021 by Josh Close
Aprilia has confirmed that Andrea Dovizioso will test their RS-GP MotoGP bike at Mugello next month.
Earlier on today the Italian had told the media that another test may be on the cards following a successful three days at Jerez. It has now been revealed that Dovizioso will return to action at Mugello on May 11-12.
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This week's test was Dovizioso's first opportunity to ride another manufacturer's bike since he announced his departure from Ducati and the resulting sabbatical from MotoGP. Dovizioso spent eight seasons on the Desmocedici, finishing second overall to Marc Marquez on three occasions.
During the three days Dovizioso's main aim was to work on his positioning on the RS-GP, which he'll now get the chance to improve on at Mugello. Today's official releases reads:
"With his rigour and analytical thinking, Andrea went over every aspect of the RS-GP: engine, electronics, chassis architecture and aerodynamics, providing valuable indications and addressing changes to the base package that consistently improved his performance and confidence on the bike."
Dovizioso, with his vast knowledge and experience in MotoGP, was able to provide plenty of feedback to the Aprilia team. On this occasion, a time attack was not completed as there was no need, from Dovizioso's side nor Aprilia's, on this occasion.
“These were three very interesting days, partly because of the pleasure and interest in sharing the vision that Andrea gave us of the MotoGP bike," Aprilia Racing Technical Director, Romano Albesiano added. “His experience showed us a clear and analytical method in approaching the fine tuning of the bike. We had a sincere exchange of ideas with him, and we appreciated that. I hope he felt the same way about it.”
The two-day test at Mugello takes place in the week leading up to the fifth round of the 2021 MotoGP championship. Mugello is scheduled to host round six on May 30.