Gresini Aprilia and both of its riders, Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding, haven’t had a good season. Even with the full support of the racing department of the Noale factory behind the team, the RS-GP prototype hasn’t shown the kind of pace their riders need to get the results both the team and riders hoped for at the beginning of the season.
The situation never improved during 2018, and not even during test session the Gresini Aprilia found a way to move forward.
The situation became unbearable for both riders. Redding was the one who spoke in a cruder way about the performance of the Italian prototype, but the Brit was never going to stay with the team beyond the current season, so he had more freedom to say what he thought about the situation.
Aleix Espargaró, on the other hand, had to be politer to the team’s efforts since he still has a signed contract to continue with the team for one more season.
But now that we’re approaching the last race of the year, in Valencia, the Spanish rider decided it was time to speak openly about what’s happening with Gresini Aprilia. For the older of the Espargaró brothers, not even the champion Marc Marquez would be able to make the RS-GP get the wins
“Between the bikes there are a lot of differences. Without a doubt Marc is a very good rider and with the Aprilia he would’ve done better than I did in many races this year. But I don’t think this bike is ready to do podiums”, said Aleix in an interview with Catalunya Radio.
“It’s impossible that Marc would win with my bike”, continues Aleix. “We have the example of Alvaro Bautista. A few months ago he was on Aprilia, and he was on the low part of the classification. This year he has been on a super competitive Ducati, and the results showed up. And when he raced with a factory bike (Australia), he was running with the best for most of the race”.
The Spanishr rider for Aprilia hopes to end the year on a high note, but is aware of the limitations of the RS-GP prototype. Aleix Espargaró already warned Aprilia that even though he has a contract with them, if something doesn’t change, we will be looking to continue racing with other team and manufacturer.
Gresini Aprilia will have their hands full during post and pre-season testing. The Italian team will get the help of their new rider, Andrea Iannone, that has agreed to join Aleix on the factory Aprilia team coming in from the factory Ecstar Suzuki team.