Aprilia MotoGP Technical Director Romano Albesiano reckons that a lack of understanding of the current Michelin tyres is the main reason for the brand’s lack of consistency this season.

The Italian marque’s 2023-specification RS-GP has shown formidable potential on occasion throughout 2023, the headlines being a pair of emphatic victories by Aleix Espargaro at Silverstone and Barcelona.

The Spaniard was tipped for a charge for the title having secured these wins at the mid-point of the term. Things haven’t been as straightforward for the operation since though, and Espargaro’s championship challenge never really got going as Aprilia has struggled for front-running speed at most venues.

Indeed, Espargaro’s two victories are his only on-the-road rostrum result this year, having inherited a third-place finish at Assen after KTM’s Brad Binder was pinged for a track limits infringement. Team-mate Maverick Vinales has had a similarly inconsistent campaign, the ex-Yamaha man racking up a total of three runners-up finishes thus far as his only visits to the podium.

With the duo currently sitting fifth and seventh in the riders’ standings with three events remaining, Albesiano explained to Speedweek that he feels a lack of understanding of Michelin’s premier class rubber was the main reason for its up-and-down year.

“We lack consistency and we can also improve the start, we have suffered in this area for a long time,” explained Albesiano.

“We have now improved this by 70 percent, but we still have to improve on that. KTM is super strong at the start, and that has saved their season. 

“Unfortunately we weren’t that good at preparing, but that’s one of the big topics in the development for next year.

“We also need to improve our understanding of tires, we have had a specialist in the team for a few races who should help us deepen our knowledge of them.

“We have improved in many areas, as the race in Thailand shows. Last year we were still very far from the front, but now we were able to start from the front row and finished the race in 5th place, four seconds behind the winner.”

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