MotoGP: Lowes, Espargaro get striking 2017 Aprilia livery

Aprilia's all-new MotoGP line-up of Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes to race in this striking 2017 livery.

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Submitted by Visordown on Fri, 03/03/2017 - 16:24

THE 2017 MotoGP colours of Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes have been revealed, just before the start of a launch ceremony at the factory headquarters in Noale, Italy. 

The new livery - designed by Aldo Drudi - builds on the patriotic colours of last season, the previous silver on the lower sides of the fairing replaced by a more striking mix of Italian green, white and red. 

It's also all change in terms of riders for the third season of Aprilia's factory MotoGP return, with Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl replaced by former Suzuki star Espargaro and Moto2 race winner Lowes. 

Espargaro's experience - 2017 will be his seventh MotoGP season, and fifth brand of bike - means he is currently doing the bulk of the development work on the new RS-GP, while Lowes gains mileage on last year's machine. 

The Spaniard set the 13th fastest lap at Sepang (+0.740s) and then 10th best at Phillip Island (+0.812s), when he also delivered an impressive long run and gave Aprilia's winglet fairing a brief public debut. 

"It is always nice to officially launch a new project, especially because I have great confidence in Aprilia Racing and the team's work. It will definitely be a good season," Espargaro declared. 

"We still have a lot to improve, but we have undoubtedly gotten off on the right foot. All that's left now is to take on the first race in Qatar and see where we stand against our rivals." 

After a solid opening test at Sepang, rookie Lowes suffered several falls at Phillip Island, but recovered to cut over two-seconds from his lap time and leave Australia 0.839s behind his team-mate. 

That was only good enough for 21st on the ultra-close timesheets, but Lowes is the only rider on the grid not yet testing with his 2017 race bike. That debut should happen at the final test in Qatar from March 10-12. 

"First of all, I am happy to be part of this big family with such a strong bond to racing, with a prestigious history of success like Aprilia Racing," Lowes said. "I can't wait to get back on the track in Qatar. 

"I think that I was able to express about 85% of our potential in the winter tests and from the first race I would like to identify a good base to build on, improving step by step all the way to Valencia. 

"We are setting our sights on the points zone straight away and then aiming for the Top-Ten and to battle for some important MotoGP placements. I believe in myself and I fully believe in the potential of my bike and my team." 

Aprilia claimed a best race finish of seventh place three-times last season; Argentina (Bradl), Japan (Bautista) and Malaysia (Bautista). 

“Last year, we introduced our RS-GP, the first MotoGP bike designed and built entirely here in Noale. In the second half of the season, the new bike showed clear progress, consistently finishing in the Top-Ten," said Roberto Colaninno, Piaggio Group CEO And Managing Director. 

"This year, we want to continue our growth trend and be a threat to manufacturers who have been in this class for decades and we have everything it takes to achieve this goal: staff, technology, experience and a lot of passion.”

Read more racing news at Crash.net.

 

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