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Starting the Catalan GP down in 18th place put Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) at a distinct disadvantage. Fighting through the MotoGP™ World Championship field is never easy but the German did his best, making up six positions to take 12th spot at the end of the race. Bradl remains the leading Aprilia in the championship with 29 points, matching the points of his teammate Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini). Only once in 2016 has he missed the points, at the first race of the year in Qatar. From where Aprilia were in 2015 to where they are now is testament to the hard work done by Bradl, Bautista and all the crew and technicians at the factory.
"Even the slightest change has a significant impact on the bike's performance" Stefan Bradl
Stefan Bradl: “We achieved a good result in conditions that were not very easy, but I cannot be entirely satisfied. In fact, our times were quite a few seconds off Alvaro's, whereas usually our pace is quite similar. Now we need to investigate this aspect in view of the next races. The positive side is that the only person who overtook me in the race was my own teammate. We figured out that in these conditions, where tyre management makes the difference, even the slightest change has a significant impact on the bike's performance. We'll use the tests tomorrow to look at this situation more in depth and to have some clearer ideas for the coming races.”
Although Aprilia have been running an extensive testing program, Bradl and the team were ready to get to work on Monday during the post-race test. The test focused on assessing new tyre options for Michelin as well as continued work to improve the settings of the electronics and chassis of the RS-GP. Bradl did a number of smaller runs, looking to maximise the amount of information and data gathered. With 82 laps under his belt, Bradl completed the second highest amount of any rider and set a best time of 1’46.524 midway through the day.
“We took a lot of laps, working hard on the chassis with numerous changes. We need these tests a lot. They help us to discover the bike and they let us test some solutions that would be difficult to analyse during a race weekend. After such an intense weekend and a test day with 82 laps taken, we'll head to Assen full of both data to analyse and motivation to do well.”
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