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For the third race in a row Stefan Bradl scored valuable points for Aprilia before a day of much needed testing on Monday.
Having found the going tough at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España and qualifying down in 18th, Stefan Bradl was not overly confident when Sunday’s race rolled around. He and the team had tried something in Warm Up which didn’t work, the German heading into the race hoping to remain upright and pick up whatever points he could. A great start saw him rocket up into 13th position, Bradl holding his spot for the first five laps before briefly getting ahead of Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team). The Italian and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) would eventually pass the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini man and drop him into the clutches of Yonny Hernandez (Aspar MotoGP Team). Bradl stayed close behind the Colombian and attacked on the penultimate lap to regain 14th place. For the third race in a row Bradl scored aboard the RS-GP, leaving him 13th in the MotoGP™ World Championship standings and ahead of riders such as Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).
Stefan Bradl: “The final result is positive. We worked hard on the settings to find the right feeling with the rear tyre. It was a rather demanding weekend in terms of grip. We also tried to take another step forward during the warm up session but it didn't pan out, so in spite of going back to the previous solution I had a few misgivings at the beginning of the race. I got off the line better than I had in the last few races and in the first laps I felt good. Then I felt a drop in performance from the front tyre that forced me to slow down. Lap by lap I found my pace and I was also able to catch up our rivals, overtaking Hernandez at the end and earning a few points.”
After the race a test was held at Jerez on Monday, an important day for Aprilia who had brought along a number of upgrades, the most of any manufacturer. The day gave them a chance to debut a new frame and a new swingarm with the aim finding the best combination of the two parts. Aprilia also joined the winglet wars during the Spanish GP weekend, Bradl getting a chance to test them without the stress of a race weekend. Bradl completed 66 laps and ended 13th overall, 1.361 behind Marc Marquez’s (Repsol Honda Team) fastest time. Aprilia are taking full advantage of their concessions and will run a private test at Mugello.
“We had a lot on our plate today, testing a lot of different components that Aprilia brought and a few tyre solutions. We found some good signs from the frame and swingarm and, although it was only our first contact, the initial impression is that we are moving in the right direction. In any case, we need to do a bit more testing to follow up and gather more information. In fact, we'll analyse some of the components we tested today at Mugello as well.”
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