Aprilia "overestimated itself" when it signed Lowes

Aprilia racing manager Romano Albesiano admits the Italian MotoGP manufacturer “overestimated” its capacity when it recruited Sam Lowes for 2017.

Aprilia "overestimated itself" when it signed Lowes
Sam Lowes, CarXpert Interwetten
Sam Lowes, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Sam Lowes, CarXpert Interwetten
Sam Lowes, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Sam Lowes, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Lowes was originally signed on a two-year deal with Aprilia, but the Moto2 graduate was released halfway through a campaign that was largely devoid of results. 

He returns to the intermediate class this year with the CGBM Evolution squad, having had his place at Aprilia taken by Pramac Ducati convert Scott Redding.

Albesiano emphasised he “believed” in Lowes but said his lack of experience of other MotoGP bikes meant the Briton was likely destined to fail in his rookie season at the top level.

“Unfortunately, not all rookies can do well,” he said at the launch of the 2018 Aprilia livery. “What counts is the capacity of a rider to improve, to make a leap in quality, even if he suffers initially.

“It’s a pity because we believed in Sam, but not having seen any improvements we decided to change. We had to focus on getting somebody more experienced because our bike is very different from the other ones.

“Perhaps we are guilty of having overestimated ourselves, considering we are still in the growth phase of the project.

“The bike has many unique points, for which we need references coming from riders who can supply them. Coming from Moto2, obviously Sam did not have them.”

Albesiano underlined that Lowes’ replacement Redding having prior experience of riding for Honda and Ducati was proving beneficial to the RS-GP’s development.

“He is young but with a lot of experience and an immense will,” said the Italian of Redding, who partners Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia in 2018.

“I particularly like his working method and his relentless focus. He wants to improve the bike before he looks for performance.

"He has integrated well with the team and he has given us references to other bikes he has ridden in the past, making us understand the level we are at.

“This is a fundamental thing, and at this stage he has proven really useful.”

Additional reporting by Francesco Corghi

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