By Bruce Allen
After taking a look at the factory teams from Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki in Part One, Bruce Allen continues his preview of the 2020 MotoGP season with a look at the Aprilia and KTM factory teams plus the satellite teams.
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone
It’s spring, and the swallows of optimism return to the Capistrano of the MotoGP grid. The best thing about the preseason is that everybody’s undefeated; unbounded hope and ridiculous projections are the order of the day. This extends to the heretofore downtrodden factory Aprilia entry. To say the 2020 version of the RS-GP is an improvement over the 2019 version is to not say much. But to hear Aleix Esparagaro tell it, the new bike is a burner, one upon which he would be a consistent podium threat were the season to start today. Isn’t that adorable?
Allegations of PED use by #2 Andrea Iannone are still unsettled at this writing, but it looks like the Italian will be drawing some kind of suspension, as if things couldn’t possibly get worse for the team. Iannone has protested his innocence while the attorneys did everything possible to get his status confirmed before the Qatar test. Didn’t. I would love it if the bike were suddenly fast; good for all concerned. Either way, 2020 appears to be a pivotal year for Aprilia in MotoGP. We would like to see them stick around.