Friday at the San Marino MotoGP saw Aprilia unveil its one available in-season fairing update for Aleix Espargaro.
As Aprilia Racing manager Romano Albesiano had hinted prior to Misano - when he described the fairing as "in line with the interpretation of the rules which seems to be consolidated at this point" - the new design is similar to the Ducati fairing, which is the most extreme version passed for use under the new 'covered winglet' rules.
"In the test here we tried last year's winglets and I liked it a lot. So I tried to push the engineers to make a new fairing, but just covering last year's winglets," said Espargaro, who was eleventh fastest.
"They did a really great job in just ten days and the fairing is fantastic. I really like it a lot. It improved the feeling a lot, especially in the fast corners. So for sure we'll keep using it."
Espargaro had been reluctant to use the previous generation of downforce fairing, which has been race developed by rookie team-mate Sam Lowes throughout this season, as it made the bike feel too heavy during changes of direction.
"After I used the old winfgs at the test, I re-tried the 'evo' fairing [this year] and it makes it the bike super heavy and we lose top speed. So I pushed the engineers to make like the old winglets within the 2017 rules. For me it's a stupid thing, but other manufacturers are doing it. So we did the same and it's really working.
"Corner eleven without the winglets is really close to dangerous, you have a lot of shaking on the handlebars. With the winglet fairing, the stability is a lot higher. Let's say a lot more weight on the front and not moving at all. And also on the hard braking it's a lot better. We don't lose any agility on change of direction, like with the other ['evo'] fairing."
Meanwhile, Espargaro struggled with the slippery track conditions, which he said were very different from the test.
"You cannot imagine how different, unbelievable! I did a '33.8 and I think here at the test on only my fourth lap I did a '34.0. So almost the same time, after three sets of tyres and two sessions," he said. "Super, super slippery - especially in the front - you need to be careful not to crash. But the track improved from this morning and if it doesn't rain overnight we will improve a lot more tomorrow."
Source : http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/882021/1/espargaro-new-aprilia-fairing-fantastic