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Not only is Jerez Alvaro Bautista’s home round, it will also be a critical weekend in finding a base setting for the remainder of the year.
The first three races have seen Alvaro Bautista score points each time out, a great start for both him and Aprilia as they continue to learn the new RS-GP. It’s a trend that looks set to continue as Aprilia have produced a number of upgrades to continue improving the bike. Now that racing has returned to Europe, Aprilia are implementing a more advanced testing program to continue improving the bike. But Jerez will be an important round; the circuit is a good indication of how the following races in Europe will play out. Finding a base setting in Jerez is Bautista’s primary focus for the weekend in order to prepare for the subsequent European rounds.
Classically Jerez has been a preview of overall championship performance, many believing that the first flyaway rounds are a false dawn for results due to their unique layouts. Bautista has gone well at Jerez in the past, only once ending the race outside the top ten in the premier class. His only non-top ten finish came in 2015 aboard the Aprilia when he was 15th, but given the state of the RS-GP back then this was a great result. Bautista’s teammate Stefan Bradl has twice finished inside the top ten in 2016, so returning to his previous Jerez form is a real possibility.
Alvaro Bautista: “We're beginning the European races after a decidedly positive start to the season, given the fact that we were able to earn points in every race with a completely new bike. And we could have done even better if it hadn't been for a few things that were beyond our control. Jerez is a much shorter track and rather different from the ones where we've raced so far. It will be interesting to see how the RS-GP performs. I think that it will be a fundamental weekend for finding a good base. Until now we have taken on particular circuits with very specific setup needs. I also like it because a lot of fans and my friends will be there, so that will make for a special atmosphere. The goal is to keep going down the path we have already started, finishing the race and staying as close as possible to the top 10.”
1 year ago