MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso completes two-day Misano test with Aprilia

Andrea Dovizioso was back on the Aprilia RS-GP at Misano
Andrea Dovizioso was back on the Aprilia RS-GP at Misano

Andrea Dovizioso has completed a further testing of Aprilia’s RS-GP after taking part in a two-day test at Misano.

It’s the third time that Dovizioso and Aprilia have worked together, and the first since the three-time MotoGP runner-up became their official test rider. Dovizioso’s previous tests were at Jerez and Mugello, however the latter was hampered by poor weather conditions.

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Dovizioso completed 126 laps over the two days, focusing on chassis, aerodynamics, and electronic developments for both the remainder the 2021 season and also the 2022 RS-GP bike.

No lap-times have been revealed by Aprilia, however tonight’s media release stated that “Dovizioso lapped at decidedly fast times, making a clear improvement from one day to the next although, as always in these cases, the clock is not the most important reference.”

“It was a very interesting test,” Dovizioso admitted. “Testing on a third and different circuit was extremely important to understand the bike better and to see which points need to be developed.

“We tested and changed a lot of things in order to better understand many details which, in fact, we gathered more accurately, identifying how to improve and where, on the other hand, we lose something with certain changes. With the next scheduled tests, we’ll be able to make more comparisons and discuss our ideas better.”

The former Ducati rider continues to be linked with a return to the grid with Aprilia next season. Dovizioso is the clear favourite to line-up alongside Aleix Espargaro in 2022 after taking a sabbatical from the sport this year.

Whilst admitting that Dovizioso is an option, Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola has hinted that there are other names in the mix for the second seat.

“Parallel to testing, Aprilia Racing is taking measures to find the best solution in terms of the riders to put on the grid in 2022, without having to wait for the outcome of the next tests in July,” Rivola said.

“Andrea is certainly included in the solutions we are assessing, but there are very interesting and valid alternatives on the table and a decision must be taken soon so we can properly plan the future strategy of the team. The Assen weekend will be extremely important in this regard.”

Aprilia has enjoyed a successful start to the 2021 season with the all-new RS-GP. Espargaro currently sits ninth in the standings after securing five top seven finishes from the opening eight races. He also recorded Aprilia’s first front-row in the premier class since Jeremy McWilliams was on pole position at the 2000 Australian GP.

Espargaro’s total points tally after eight races (53) is already 11 points better than the entire 2020 season. The Spaniard will be looking to edge closer to the podium at Assen on Sunday.