It has been a busy day at the Misano circuit. At a private test organized by Ducati, Maverick Viñales got his first taste of the Aprilia RS-GP, Franco Morbidelli rode a superbike again for the first time, and factory test riders carried on with the work of testing developments on the MotoGP machines.
There was a surprisingly long list of riders on track at the test. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was present, along with Johann Zarco, Pecco Bagnaia, and Luca Marini on Ducati Panigale V4 streetbikes. Stefan Bradl was testing the Honda RC213V MotoGP machine, Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio were present for KTM, Franco Morbidelli was riding a Yamaha R1, and Matteo Baiocco was alongside Maverick Viñales in the Aprilia garage.
All eyes were on the Aprilia garage, of course, where Maverick Viñales was riding the Aprilia RS-GP for the first time. The Spaniard completed a total of 65 laps, and posted that his best time was a 1'33.0 on his Instagram page. With no official times published, and no live timing, there is no way to verify that time. But to put it in perspective, the race lap record is 1'32.319, set by Pecco Bagnaia during the Misano 2 race last year. The pole record is 1'31.077, set by Maverick Viñales during qualifying for the same event, a race he went on to win.
Though no official statements were released, Italian broadcaster Sky was present, as were staff from Dorna. Speaking to the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Technical Director Romano Albesiano described the test as "very positive". "He didn't find any major issues or problems or discomfort," Albesiano said. "We're just working on some fine-tuning, suspension, tires. Normal work as if he had been riding this bike for a long time. So it's been really positive."
The MotoGP.com website also have a short video of Viñales riding the bike for the first time. Very few conclusions can be drawn from it, especially given this is the first time on the Aprilia for Viñales.
Franco Morbidelli's return to riding a large-capacity motorcycle was also important. The Italian has not ridden since he withdrew after the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. Since then, he has been recovering from surgery to fix a torn ACL and damaged meniscus. Morbidelli is expected to return to MotoGP at the Misano round on September 19th.