Having missed the remainder of the Spanish MotoGP due to a foot injury in Saturday’s final practice session, Andrea Iannone was also forced to abandon a planned return at Monday’s post-race test.
The Aprilia rider was given the medical all-clear to try to ride at the test, but a lack of strength caused by the pain in his left foot preventing him shifting gears properly and he withdrew without setting a lap time.
But the Italian is confident of full fitness for the upcoming French round at Le Mans from May 17-19.
“I tried, but I was lacking strength in my foot to shift gears,” Iannone confirmed. “It’s a pity because I would have liked to use the day of testing to confirm the positive note on which we had begun to work in FP4 where, before the crash, I was doing rather well.
“We received some confirmation from Aleix in the race and that is definitely positive. From tomorrow I’ll begin my recovery, but I am sure that I’ll be able to be at 100% for the Le Mans weekend.”
Team-mate Aleix Espargaro’s eleventh place in the race has put Aprilia above KTM in the constructors’ standings. The Spaniard then concluded his Jerez activities with 15th at the official test, when he worked on engine torque management, weight distribution, traction control configurations and a new rear suspension set-up during his 80 laps.
“This day of testing was very important for us. In fact, I was the first one out on the track. We worked non-stop, both in anticipation of Le Mans and to continue development on the RS-GP,” Espargaro said.
“As always when testing, some solutions return better results than others. It will be essential to carefully analyse the data collected today to decide which line to follow in the upcoming rounds.”
Despite Iannone’s absence there were still two RS-GPs on track with test and wild-card rider Bradley Smith, 17th out of 19 riders in the grand prix, putting in 82 laps. The Englishman’s best Monday time was a quarter of a second from Espargaro.
“It was a rather busy day,” Smith said. “We worked on three fronts: the hard front tyre, which we confirmed as the right choice for our bike on this track, weight distribution and some components we needed to evaluate in terms of performance and reliability.
“Since I got close to Andrea’s and Aleix’s performance, the feeling is that I can contribute to overcoming the limits that the factory riders are highlighting.
“It is not an easy process. It takes time, but we have a structure capable of doing it. I think that in the coming months we’ll be able to make some targeted changes in our weaker areas.”
Espargaro is the top Aprilia rider with twelve in the world championship, despite a DNF in Austin.