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Raul Fernandez: Realistic Expectations as He Transitions to 2024 Aprilia RS-GP at Silverstone

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Raul Fernandez: ‘The 2024 bike won’t be a second quicker’

Raul Fernandez concludes his 2023 season with Aprilia by finishing tenth in Germany. He is set to debut the RS-GP24 at Silverstone next time.

Raul Fernandez is managing his expectations before receiving an upgrade to the 2024 Aprilia RS-GP in the upcoming MotoGP race at Silverstone.

The Trackhouse racer has been the sole Aprilia contender using the 2023-spec bike this season.

However, this hasn’t prevented him from securing a front-row start on two occasions, specifically in Catalunya and Germany.

In Barcelona, Fernandez initially led the Sprint but eventually dropped to sixth place. Despite his impressive qualifying performance, it didn't translate into a strong result at the Sachsenring.

Increasing front tire pressure caused Fernandez to slip to 14th place in the Sprint race, but he managed to finish his last race on the RS-GP23 in 10th position in the grand prix.

"There was an error… Somehow, the tire wasn't inflated to the right pressure to achieve its optimal performance," Fernandez remarked on Saturday night. "Yet, we function as a unit; we celebrate victories and endure losses collectively. Additionally, they provided me with an excellent bike, allowing me to secure a spot on the front row in qualifying."

However, the traction of the rear tire turned out to be the restricting element in the race.

“I spent the initial 15 laps battling alongside all the Ducati riders and Miguel,” remarked Fernandez, who trailed Oliveira in eighth place during the race's midpoint.

"The final 15 laps were challenging due to tyre issues. Additionally, the 2023 bike played a role in this. The pace was rather slow. Despite that, I gave it my all, and we managed to secure a top ten finish."

"I had a good battle with Pedro, Brad, and Marco. However, I lacked the means to pass them. Nevertheless, competing against individuals of their caliber always offers a chance for improvement."

Fernandez is now focusing on the future and preparing for his race debut on the 2024 RS-GP.

Despite the engine specifications remaining the same due to homologation regulations, Fernandez, similar to Oliveira, is anticipated to get a new aerodynamic update for the 2024 season during the British Grand Prix.

However, in terms of performance, he does not anticipate a dramatic change.

"The '24 bike isn't any quicker," Fernandez remarked about the model he tested briefly at Jerez in April. "However, it might be easier to preserve the tire with the new bike."

"I only tested it twice during one trial, so I'm not sure what to anticipate. However, if Aprilia introduced this new motorcycle, they must have identified some benefits."

"The lap times this year are quite competitive when compared to last year. So, overall, I think the new bike has some improvements, but it definitely isn't a whole second faster."

Oliveira's impressive performance at the Sachsenring has propelled him past Fernandez, placing him 13th in the riders' rankings. Neither has secured a contract for 2025 yet.

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