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By Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aprilia: RS-GP launched in Italy

Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes present 2017 project for the Italian manufacturer

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini have revealed their liveries for the upcoming 2017 MotoGP™ season, as the Italian manufacturer presented their MotoGP™ and WorldSBK projects in Noale, Italy, where the constructor is based.

The all-new lineup of MotoGP™ podium finisher Aleix Espargaro and former Moto2™ title contender Sam Lowes were on hand to reveal their new RS-GP machines, with the countdown to Qatar now underway and one official pre-season test remaining before the lights go out.

After joining the MotoGP™ grid in 2015 and using the season to effectively test in competition, 2016 saw big progress as the Aprilia presence in Q2 and the top ten on race day began to gain serious traction. 2017 is another push forward for progress, with rookie talent Sam Lowes getting to grips with the premier class as seasoned campaigner Aleix Espargaro delves into development work – with pre-season reports from the Spaniard positive and ready to move forward.

Aleix Espargaro: "I'm happy to reveal the livery we'll use this season. It's always good to officially begin a new project, especially because I have a lot of confidence in Aprilia Racing and in the team. It will certainly be a good season, we still have a lot to improve but we’ve definitely got off on the right foot. There is a big desire to progress, we have clear goals and to achieve them both the team and I will have to leave everything out on track. We just have to face the first race in Qatar and face down our rivals.”

Sam Lowes: “First of all I’m happy to be part of a great racing family with a prestigious history such as Aprilia Racing. I can’t wait to get back on track in Qatar. I think in winter testing I’ve only shown 85% of our potential and in the first race I want to define a good base on which we can build step by step up to Valencia. We’re aiming to immediately get in the points, and then get into the top ten and start fighting for some important finishes in MotoGP. I believe in myself and I believe totally in the potential of my bike and my team.”

Fausto Gresini, Team Manager: "We approach the 2017 season knowing that we can count on a good starting point, because at Sepang and Phillip Island the team and riders worked very well. On the one hand Aleix has been busy riding the new RS-GP, getting a good feeling and providing important information to guide technical development - which of course is relentless and involves all areas of the bike. On the other hand, Lowes has made significant progress and is considerably closer to his teammate in terms of laptime. Sam is facing this new adventure with the right attitude, focused on getting necessary experience. The new RS-GP is very beautiful and we all cannot wait to see her in action in the new colors: we are ready for a new exciting challenge together with Aprilia Racing."

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager: "For us, 2017 begins with a different situation compared with last year. We already know that we have a bike, the RS-GP, which has reached a good competitive level. The evolutions that we studied and applied in view of the new season concern every aspect of the bike, from its weight, which has been optimised, to overall balance, not to mention engine performance and the electronics package. An all-around operation but without any drastic changes, given the good starting base, with which we want to take another step toward the goals set for the Aprilia MotoGP project. The initial feedback has been encouraging. Aleix likes the new bike and has some rather clear ideas on which characteristics have the most room for improvement, so we will be working in those areas throughout the season. The racing department put in a lot of effort during the winter break. Everyone understands the importance of the challenge we are facing and our front fairing is just the most visible example of Aprilia's dedication to innovation. During the tests we stayed in a group of very competitive bikes and riders, where just a few tenths of a second can make a big difference. Our goal, after showing that we can consistently battle for the Top-10, is to improve further."