Aprilia MotoGP tech chief Romano Albesiano says his team will have "no excuse" not to do better in the upcoming 2019 season, with Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith joining the organisation.
While Aleix Espargaro was paired up with rookie Sam Lowes and then Scott Redding in the past two years, Aprilia welcomes two riders with factory experience in Iannone and new tester Smith for 2019.
Iannone spent two years each with Ducati and Suzuki, winning a race with the former and collecting a total of 11 podiums over the past four seasons, while Smith, himself a MotoGP podium finisher, has arrived from KTM.
On the heels of a frustrating season, Albesiano agreed that "something went not right" with the 2018 Aprilia bike, but is confident that the new arrivals give the manufacturer "all the ingredients" to make a step forward.
"We had different expectations for this season, especially after the end of the '17, when we were constantly on the top 10 and close to top five," said Albesiano.
"Something honestly went not exactly right in the design of the new bike, we lost something on the balance of the bike and we struggled a lot.
"It was not clear from the beginning, the riders struggled a lot to understand what was necessary.
"Nice to see Andrea [Iannone] did fantastic results [in 2018] and we know we have no excuse.
"I'm very excited, I know we have the potential and we have all the ingredients for make a good recipe for next year."
In addition to its moves on the rider market, Aprilia has added former Ferrari Formula 1 man Massimo Rivola as CEO of its racing department.
Albesiano, who will continue to oversee the development of the Aprilia RS-GP, said that the bike was unique in the MotoGP field - and that it will be crucial for Iannone and Smith to compare it to their previous machines.
"For sure is very important for us to take these new riders because of the talent, and they bring us information, is very important for a company like us.
"We have quite specific bike, the narrow V engine, we have totally different balance of the bike.
"It's always important to compare the feeling of new riders that come from different bikes, let's say conventional bikes, to our bike.
"This is very important step for making the development of the bike."
Bezzecchi reminds me of a young Rossi - Poncharal
Yamaha must match Ducati's effort, says Rossi
About this article
|Drivers||Bradley Smith , Andrea Iannone Shop Now , Aleix Espargaro|
|Teams||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini|