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Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Prime
Analysis

Why 2021 is Aprilia's most important MotoGP season

Aprilia’s pre-season progress in MotoGP in recent years has always ended up flattering to deceive. But concessions in the rules has allowed it to start 2021 with a new bike. The early signs are promising, and they need to be as 2021 - for numerous reasons - will be Aprilia’s most important season in MotoGP.

The first two days of the Qatar MotoGP pre-season test for 2021 rather went to form in terms of who occupied the top of the timesheets, with Fabio Quartararo on the factory Yamaha proving - if anything – the M1 is still a good bike at Losail. And Ducati’s Jack Miller proved the GP21 is likely to once again be a victory contender come the Qatar Grand Prix.

And you could argue an Aprilia going strong in the Qatari desert is nothing new. Aleix Espargaro scored Aprilia’s joint-best ever MotoGP result of sixth on his debut for the marque in Qatar back in 2017, and last year was strong in the test there. But those results flattered to deceive, as Aprilia is still nowhere near showing the form it expected throughout those campaigns, ending 2020 last in the constructors' championship and failing to crack the top six all season.

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