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Bradl and Bautista complete first test on new Aprilia

Bradl and Bautista complete first test on new Aprilia

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini missed the Phillip Island test in favour of a private debu in Qatar, the factory riders having their first test.

The new Aprilia MotoGP™ project completed its first real test in Qatar. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini spent three days testing the all-new RS-GP machine, developed in the Noale factory for the upcoming 2016 season.

Even early in the project, there is much optimism within Aprilia that this new machine, with the data gathered from 2015, will see Aprilia closer to the front. Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl have begun work developing and testing the brand new prototype with a promising start shown, despite room for improvement.

There was no a single key area of focus during the three days: the new RS-GP shares nothing with the old model and therefore required an entirely new approach from the team. This is a new Aprilia developed with the knowledge and data gained during the 2015 season and during the Sepang test where the lab bike ran with the new software and tyres.

The Aprilia RS-GP will back on track in Qatar in just a few days time for the final official test, just ahead of the first race of the season.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager: “After the Aragon shakedown with the test riders, Alvaro and Stefan began to get to know the new Aprilia RS-GP here in Qatar. These were three very intense and positive days of work. We are bringing home a lot of information and there are some growing pain problems we need to solve, but above all we are leaving with confirmation that the new bike's dynamic performance is significantly better than the 2015 bike. We have an important development path ahead of us that will be necessarily accelerated, but we are confident that this will be a season of growth toward a decidedly interesting level."

Fausto Gresini, Team Manager: “Hearing the positive comments from our riders after the first kilometers ridden astride a completely new bike was exciting. The RS-GP seems to have gotten off on the right foot. Alvaro and Stefan noticed a clear improvement in dynamic performance compared to the 2015 bike. Now we have a big development schedule ahead of us but we know we are starting from an extremely solid base.”

Alvaro Bautista: “In these three days we explored the new bike, doing a lot of work with short sessions since this was the first real test with the 2016 RS-GP. Obviously we are not at 100% but we have a very good starting point. I think that we are already at a similar level as the end of 2015 with the difference being that we are just at the beginning. There is a lot of room for development whereas with the old bike we were at the limit. We still need to work on a lot of things but I'm pleased with the work Aprilia has done. In the next tests I hope to be able to lay the foundation for the new season.”

Stefan Bradl: “This test was really important as it was the first contact with the new bike. First impressions are good. I see a clear difference compared to the old bike and we are moving in the right direction. At the moment I have a good feeling despite the fact that we have a long way to go before we'll be able to say that we're satisfied. That was to be expected at the beginning. This is a completely new and decidedly demanding project, but we can truly say that we are off on the right foot.”

MotoGP, 2016, Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

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