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Bautista: 'The target is getting close to the front'

Bautista: 'The target is getting close to the front'

Spanish rider is looking forward to the next chapter of his MotoGP™ career as he gets set to race with the new Factory Aprilia Gresini team.

The Italian factory are back in the premier class and Bautista is tasked with driving the project forward on track alongside Marco Melandri. For Bautista the 2015 campaign will therefore see him make a switch in machinery, the Spaniard having spent the last three seasons riding a Honda prototype.

motogp.com got his thoughts ahead of the return to preseason testing…

Alvaro, you won the 125cc World Championship with Aprilia and you also had success with them in 250cc. What is it like to be reunited with the brand?

"It brings back good memories because I got great results with Aprilia in the past. It's a big factory with the capacity to develop a competitive bike and I hope that we will be in a similarly positive situation this time around."

Also you'll be a factory rider in MotoGP again…

"It’s certainly a big positive. When I rode as an official Suzuki rider I really liked it because you virtually develop the bike yourself. You work more than when you have a satellite bike, but you also have more chances. When you’re riding satellite bikes you receive certain material and you know that is what you’ll get for the whole of the rest of the season."

Do you think this will be a transitional year as you develop the Aprilia or do you think you can aspire to competitive results from the start?

"I think Aprilia has been very bold to re-enter the championship in 2015 when Suzuki, for example, has spent two years developing their bike away from Grands Prix. I think it will be a season of development for us in order to have a competitive bike in 2016. The category will also change with the new regulations and the arrival of new tyres. 2015 will be a year to work without specific targets. Really, the target is to get close to the front."

How would you describe the character of the new Aprilia MotoGP prototype?

"It's a very different bike to the Honda. When I rode it at Valencia, the chassis was quite good. Maybe the engine lacked some power, but in Jerez, with the pneumatic engine and 81mm diameter piston valves, the power increased a lot and I began to notice that the chassis needed more stiffness. The electronics were not quite matched to the increased power, the rear tyre was sliding a lot and everything was a bit strange. This next test in Malaysia will help us dial things in completely and move forward step by step. We will eventually get a ‘seamless’ gearbox though not for this first test. That will probably come by the second or third race of the season."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, Alvaro Bautista, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Aprilia, interview, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

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