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Ever growing confidence for Alvaro Bautista on the new RS-GP, able to begin improving the bike during the Qatar Test.
With their private test in Qatar having been more of a shakedown than a test, Alvaro Bautista and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini were able to begin working properly during the Qatar Test for the first time. Although they worked on improving the bike, they were not close to pushing the 2016 RS-GP to its limit in order to avoid any reliability problems. Bautista was still able to set the 18th fastest time and finish ahead of two satellite Hondas and a GP14.2, having gained confidence over the three days. As his comfort on the bike improved, so did Bautista’s pace and the Spaniard ended the Qatar Test 2.233s behind Jorge Lorenzo’s (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) test topping time.
Growing pains still exist with the new RS-GP, built from the ground up for 2016, and the first races will likely be extended test sessions for the Noale factory. Even at this early stage, signs are more positive for Aprilia in 2016 than in 2015 with their lab bike. The 20th of March will see the first MotoGP™ World Championship round of 2016 take place, the Losail International Circuit again hosting the inaugural race.
Alvaro Bautista: “Basically these were the first real three days with this bike since the private tests last week were used to sort out the bike and verify that everything was working properly. Now we are getting to know the bike, thanks in part to the many small changes that we have consistently made to see how it would react. Today I gained confidence and we were able to lap a lot and get a very positive feeling because the more laps I took the more I improved, becoming more and more comfortable with the bike. This is a very important aspect because we are still far from 100% and we have plenty of room for improvement. We are on the right path. The bike is lighter, it has better traction, it is more stable and it is a lot more nimble in direction changes. We need to continue on this path, even in the first races where we'll have the chance to continue working on comprehension and development.”
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