Scott interviewed at the Aprilia 2018 campaign launch
The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini squad launched its 2018 campaign today.
Aprilia’s proudly all-Italian challenge in the MotoGP World Championship begins from a base that is more solid than ever. In fact, the work done by the Noale Racing Department during the 2017 season came together in the consistent growth of the young RS-GP project which, once again characterised by the Italian livery designed by Aldo Drudi, has been revamped and advanced in every area for the 2018 season.
For the 2018 season, Aprilia is keen to pick up from its great 2017 progress: from a bike that maintains the same construction philosophy as its forerunner, but refined and advanced in every aspect and with an extremely motivated pair of riders, fully aware that they have everything they need to aim consistently for the top spots in the rankings. Scott Redding joins the squad alongside Aleix Espargaro. The English rider, born in 1993, is coming into his fifth MotoGP season, the first on a factory team.
Confirmation of the project’s technical maturity came during the pre-season tests, during which Scott passed the 2018 version of the RS-GP with flying colours. The development direction taken has therefore been confirmed and it draws from the experience of one of the most victorious racing departments ever, backed by 54 World Titles earned in all motorcycling disciplines and now highly motivated to do well in the premier class of this 2018 World Championship season that will begin 18 March on the Losail track in Qatar.
At the launch, Scott answered questions on joining his new team and on what 2018 may hold…
Scott, for the first time in your career, you are on a MotoGP factory team. How has it been?
“I must say that I had very positive sensations. Having a team behind me that supports me and works with me to improve the bike gives me great motivation. We have managed to improve consistently with every outing, also experimenting with some solutions that were a gamble, but always with specific goals. It is difficult for me to make predictions right now. I am still adapting to the RS-GP and at the same time we have already undertaken development of the 2018 model. In any case, I am positive. Thanks to the last tests in Qatar, we have taken another step forward, narrowing the gap behind the leaders, so I am confident as we approach the first race.”
You rode the 2018 RS-GP in Valencia and Jerez and in Malaysia you were on the 2018 evolution. What were your first impressions?
“The 2018 bike definitely has great potential. We did some comparative tests with the old model both in Sepang and in Thailand, confirming the growth of the new bike with respect to the old. We initially used the 2017 settings on the new bike, but it didn’t work for me, unlike for Aleix. He has a lot more experience with the Aprilia, whereas I, partly because of my physical build, have rather a different riding style. So we started to experiment, even making some gambles, because in this first phase it is important for me to explore all the directions in order to find the right line of development. I am pleased because, despite the hard work and the many things that we tried, I was able to improve day after day in every test.”
How have you prepared for this important season?
“Physically, I have lost quite a bit of weight. It wasn’t easy because I really needed to get rid of muscle, not fat. The fact that I immediately found the RS-GP to be less demanding than I was accustomed to helped me. It requires less energy to ride. I also worked with my technical material suppliers to lighten the helmet and leathers as much as possible, since every kilogram less means shaving off tenths on the track. I am pleased with the results achieved. I have prepared for this championship in the best possible way.”
What are your goals for 2018?
“To continue improving and developing the Aprilia, working a lot with the team. I want to take the RS-GP to the top-6. Last year, Aleix showed that this is a result within our potential and I believe that the new bike has even greater potential. We worked well in the tests, step by step, and we need to keep doing that race after race.”