Misano Private Test: Oliveira Fastest After Two Days, Aprilia And Ducati Test New Aero

It has been a busy couple of days at Misano, with the KTM and Aprilia MotoGP teams, and test teams from Suzuki and Ducati, joined by WorldSBK representatives from the KRT Kawasaki squad, and a small army of Ducati teams. The MotoGP and WorldSBK riders have been able to try out the new asphalt at Misano in the blistering heat of an Italian summer.

Miguel Oliviera is fastest after the first two days, the Red Bull Tech3 rider just a couple of tenths faster on Wednesday than Pol Espargaro had been on Tuesday. Oliveira's best time of 1'32.9 is two thirds of a second off Maverick Viñales' pole time set last September, two tenths off the outright race lap record set by Andrea Dovizioso in 2018, and 1.3 seconds slower than Jorge Lorenzo's pole record from the same year.

Ducati MotoGP test rider Michele Pirro is third quickest, ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia RS-GP. The elder Espargaro is half a second slower than Oliveira, and a third of a second off the time of his younger brother on the KTM. Rookies Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona are two thirds of a second slower than Lecuona's Tech3 teammate Oliveira. Bradley Smith was half a second behind Aprilia teammate Aleix Espargaro, while Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli was just under 1.4 seconds off the pace of Oliveira.

Aprilia seem to be less concerned about lap times, as they have come to Misano with a clear purpose. Aprilia have two different engines to assess for homologation for this season, and the start of next season, with the main objective being reliability. At earlier tests, reliability of the brand new 90° V4 was questionable, and though the engine is a huge improvement in terms of character and performance, those mean little if they cannot get across the line in one piece.

Ducati appear to be assessing new aerodynamics, as always, while Aprilia also have aerodynamic upgrades. According to photos published by GPOne.com, Ducati appear to be testing an additional aerodynamic cover for the fork leg stanchions. With teardrop covers for the fork legs, and covers for the bottom half of the wheel, the only part of the Ducati's front end now unfaired is the brake caliper.

Though it is a little hard to be certain, Ducati also appear to be testing a new swingarm spoiler, though with this iteration, any pretense that the spoiler is for cooling the rear tire has been dropped. The spoiler appears to be much more of a wedge-shaped scoop, rather than a spoiler with lateral internal winglets.

This is almost certainly experimental, however. The FIM regulations appear to state that swingarm spoilers are now a part of the aero body, meaning that changes to the design are severely limited. For Ducati, they cannot change the design of their spoiler homologated before the (now canceled) Qatar race, and will have to start 2021 with the same spoiler, before being allowed to change it during the 2021 season, as one upgrade is allowed to each area of the aero body. The fairing over the fork stanchions falls outside of the aero body, and so Ducati are free to change that as much as they like.

Meanwhile, Aprilia's hiring of aerodynamics engineers is also on display at Misano, Aleix Espargaro pictured on GPOne using lower front wheel covers very much in the mold of the Ducati Desmosedici's.

Scott Redding was the fastest of the WorldSBK riders, taking to the track in earnest after a brief shakedown on Tuesday. Redding was just a fraction faster on the factory Aruba.it Ducati than Michael Rinaldi was on the Go Eleven Panigale, while Jonathan Rea was the fastest of the Kawasakis, despite a huge crash at the fast left hander of Turn 11. Rea was unharmed, and able to continue a full testing program for the rest of the day.

Both the MotoGP and WorldSBK teams have one more day of testing at Misano, the test concluding on Thursday.

Combined times from the first two days of testing, courtesy of Speedweek.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Prev Day
1 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:32.913     Wednesday
2 Pol Espargaró KTM RC16 1:33.070 0.157 0.157 Tuesday
3 Michele Pirro Ducati GP20 1:33.124 0.211 0.054 Wednesday
4 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia RS-GP 1:33.427 0.514 0.303 Wednesday
5 Brad Binder KTM RC16 1:33.588 0.675 0.161 Wednesday
6 Iker Lecuona KTM RC16 1:33.591 0.678 0.003 Wednesday
7 Scott Redding (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:33.957 1.044 0.366 Wednesday
8 Bradley Smith Aprilia RS-GP 1:34.000 1.087 0.043 Tuesday
9 Michael Ruben Rinaldi (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:34.043 1.130 0.043 Wednesday
10 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki GSX-RR 1:34.287 1.374 0.244 Wednesday
11 Jonathan Rea (WSBK) Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:34.381 1.468 0.094 Wednesday
12 Alex Lowes (WSBK) Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:34.745 1.832 0.364 Wednesday
13 Chaz Davies (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:34.900 1.987 0.155 Wednesday
14 Leandro Mercado (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:35.183 2.270 0.283 Wednesday
15 Leon Camier (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:35.773 2.860 0.590 Wednesday
16 Sylvain Barrier (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:37.000 4.087 1.227 Wednesday

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The new Aprilia MotoGp beastie looks good in it's new paint. Not slow either. But can they make it reliable? I assume they can.

We'll see.

The Ducati GP20 has new front brake calipers, state of the art according to GpOne, didn't translate the article, so not 100% sure. they do look different with more small cooling fins on the calipers.

Oops, how fast is the RSGP? about as fast as a Ducati superbike ridden by a grand prix reject; Scott Redding. hmm.

Well it is only testing.

Believe turn 11 where Rea crashed is a right hander? Regardless, it's got to be one of the fastest corners in Motogp.  Really glad to hear he's ok - that must have been scary.

One day I will learn the difference between left and right. Normally it doesn't matter, because I have a big L and R painted on my shoes...

These are times from Tuesday, and so are "unofficial" times, which a team will tell a journalist, and so tend to be rather non-specific.

Like you said this is only testing, and that bike is so new they'll have a lot of improvement to extract. I'm sure they will have some reliability issues but they'll get those figured out in time. Given how new the RSGP is I'm impressed how fast it is out of the gate. As a fan of Aleix, I hope he does well but at least hopefully this vast improvement will help lure some top talent.