Dovizioso to continue testing Aprilia MotoGP bike in 2021

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After losing his place with the factory Ducati squad for 2021 – with which he raced between 2013 and 2020 – Dovizioso is taking a sabbatical in 2021 with a view to preparing for a full-time MotoGP return next year.

Dovizioso agreed to test the Aprilia RS-GP at Jerez last month, carrying out a second test at Mugello at the start of May – though that outing was hampered by wet weather.

The three-time MotoGP title runner-up admitted at the time that he had yet to discuss further test outings with Aprilia, but Aprilia has since confirmed he will continue to ride the bike across 2021 in “a series of tests”.

Dovizioso will next be out on track on the RS-GP on June 23-24 at Misano alongside race riders Aleix Espargaro and Lorenzo Savadori.

“Since I wasn’t able to test at Mugello in dry conditions, I’m pleased that Aprilia Racing asked me to continue the work we started in Jerez and to be able to provide my contribution to developing the bike,” Dovizioso said.

“I think this will be beneficial for both of us – for me, to continue training on a MotoGP bike in anticipation of a possible return in 2022, and for Aprilia to receive what they feel to be interesting information.

“For this reason, we decided to do more tests.”

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Aprilia technical director Romano Albesiano added: “Our RS-GP project underwent a huge revolution last year and now we can finally push on development.

“The first part of the 2021 season has been very positive and rather evident improvements have been seen.

“Now, being able to set up a work schedule with Andrea is a great opportunity to accelerate and consolidate this growth.

“In the first two outings, we already touched on a lot of issues that we will now be able to look at more in depth together, trying to get the best performance out of our very young project.”

Dovizioso has previously said racing the Aprilia in wildcard outings this year isn’t in his plans at present.

Aprilia has enjoyed a strong start to 2021 with its upgraded RS-GP, with Espargaro currently seventh in the standings on 35 points having scored top 10 results in all but the French GP – where he crashed out.

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