Aprilia's "extreme" gearbox solution to blame for fire

Andrea Iannone says his Aprilia MotoGP bike caught fire during the post-Valencia test because the Italian manufacturer was trying an “extreme” gearbox solution.

Aprilia's "extreme" gearbox solution to blame for fire

Iannone caused a red flag a couple of hours into Wednesday’s running at the Valencia test when his Aprilia burst into flames on the main straight on the run into Turn 1.

Aprilia had no new items to test in Valencia – which Aleix Espargaro branded as “not at all” acceptable – but were trying different set-up solutions to apply to the development of its radical 2020 bike.

One such approach was to try and run the Aprilia’s gearbox with shorter gear ratios like its rivals in a bid to find more horsepower.

However, the Aprilia engine had never revved as high as it did during that test and ultimately led to Iannone’s bike catching fire.

“We’re not used to using a high speed like on Wednesday morning,” Iannone said. “We tried an extreme solution, because we understood that our opponents use much shorter gearboxes and consequently much higher engine revs.

“Our bike has never been [run] so high. We tried it and there was a risk.”

Commenting on the moment the fire erupted, he added: “I was so scared because it happened on the straight and the bike caught fire. I felt very warm on my feet and oil was [landing] on the brake lever.

“You are angry at the time, but I think that’s normal. We tried different solutions because we want to find a few more horsepower.

“We know that we need to improve and last night [Tuesday] we found some very interesting things.”

Iannone called Aprilia racing manager Romano Albesiano “very brave” for suggesting the idea to run shorter gear ratios, though branded the situation as “very dangerous”.

“Romano is a very brave person in this respect, because maybe we shouldn’t have risked this situation,” he added. “But he led us to find something.

"Let’s say it went wrong in one way and good in another. It was a dangerous situation and obviously frightening.”

shares
comments
Espargaro 'shocked' to match Marquez with new KTM
Previous article

Espargaro 'shocked' to match Marquez with new KTM

Next article

Honda's 2020 bike no easier to ride, says Crutchlow

Honda's 2020 bike no easier to ride, says Crutchlow
Load comments
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022
How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention Prime

How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention

Enea Bastianini’s second win of the 2022 campaign at COTA puts him back in the lead of the standings and once again showed the best Ducati package is still the 2021 bike. Those closest to Bastianini tell Motorsport.com why he’s so good on the GP21 relative to his factory counterparts.

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2022
How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag Prime

How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag

Aleix Espargaro became MotoGP's newest winner in a thrilling Argentina Grand Prix in which he also proved the merits of the Aprilia project. After six years of hard graft, both parties have reaped the rewards they have long thought they deserved. But it was several key moments in that journey that led both to that momentous Sunday at Termas de Rio Hondo.

MotoGP
Apr 4, 2022