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Aprilia has settled upon the bike they will use for the 2015 MotoGP™ season, after deciding between two variants at the second Sepang test.
The Italian manufacturer has returned to the premier class a year ahead of schedule to allow them to develop an upgraded version of last years ART bike, before debuting an all new prototype machine in 2016.
The factory team brought two versions of their RS-GP bike to Sepang 2, the “Step 1” version they used during last Novembers testing and a new “Step 2” variant, with both Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri preferring the Step 1 version. In a recent interview with crash.net, Aprilia Racing Team Manager Romano Albesiano stated that their aim would be to ideally finish the first race in the points, and explained their choice of which bike to use.
“We brought the Step 1 bike here [to Sepang 2] and also some components of the Step 2, which we tested on the Step 1. Anyway the layout, the basic configuration of the Step 1, is still the best. The overall balance of the Step 1 bike is very good. Okay, we couldn't improve with the Step 2 but we are quite satisfied anyway because the Step 1 bike is working well. We believe it's a good base for starting the season.
“Now we will make some improvements from what we learned here, but details. For example the Step 1 fuel tank is not big enough to finish the race so we have to put some more fuel somewhere. It was a real laboratory bike! We will find some extra room for the fuel, prepare all the parts and go racing.”
“It looks like we are very good on handling. We are losing something on the straights and exiting the corners because, okay for sure we have less power compared to the best competitors, but also we have to tune our traction control. The time we are losing on the exit is much more than the power gap alone would explain.”
“Alvaro is really happy with the front especially. Looking at him on the racetrack is fantastic. He looks very comfortable. We still have many things to improve. Some engine brake but the traction - as I mentioned before - the drive out of the corner is where we lose most.”
“Marco still has not reached a good confidence with the bike,” Albesiano said. “We have tried many, many things! We brought the Superbike [RSV4] because we wanted him to ride something he knew very well and kind of restart. He had some positive feeing but it is not the way. So we are still struggling!”
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