The 2021 MotoGP season kicks off on the asphalt at Losail Circuit in Qatar for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. Just hours before taking to the track for the first official tests, the complete Italian team unveiled the new weapon from Noale - a revamped RS-GP. With sincere and emotional thoughts for Fausto Gresini, who had been part of this project since its début in 2015.
Pulling the cover off the new V4 were Aleix Espargaró and Lorenzo Savadori, the pair of riders who will be tasked with racing the new prototype. A bike that represents the natural evolution of the 2020 project, a new beginning conditioned last year by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which hampered the initial, fundamental phase of development.
But over the winter, engineers and technicians in the racing department had the chance to work hard, with the goal of maintaining the strong points that had come out last season, while implementing new and important innovations. Some of these are rather evident, like the redesigned and more efficient aerodynamics or the carbon swingarm. Others, as is routinely the case, are hidden "under the skin".
"It may seem trite, but I am always emotional at the start of a new season. I’m about to begin my fifth with Aprilia, a team that has by now become my second family. In fact, I can't wait to get back to work with them. The first contact with the new RS-GP was positive. The guys worked hard over the winter, but we still have a long way to go. We have a demanding and very busy championship ahead, where physical and mental fitness will need to be at top levels. I'm more prepared than ever."
"I would be remiss not to thank Aprilia for this great opportunity. I know that I have a lot to learn. It is a demanding category and still new for me. The tests and races last year gave me a chance to begin building confidence with this bike and with these tyres, but it is just a starting point with wide margins for improvement. I’ll try to transform the pain generated by the passing of Fausto, a person who believed very much in me, into positive energy. His determination and the things he taught me will accompany me in this new stage of my career."