Alvaro Bautista leaves Sepang positive about improvements, looks forward to Doha
The third and final day of testing with the Aprilia RS-GP machines at Sepang also had the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders only taking partial advantage of the eight hours available. This was due to the rain showers in the morning, not hard enough to justify using rain tyres but enough to force Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl to come into the garage.
Back on the track just after 4 in the afternoon, Alvaro and teammate Stefan continued the scheduled tests with their usual professionalism until the red light came on, focusing specifically on developing the new controlled electronics package.
At the end of the tests both riders pointed out the progress achieved both in terms of the new tyres and the electronics package, confirming the latter as the area with most room for improvement where efforts need to be concentrated between now and the first race in Qatar.
Over the three days Bautista put in 132 laps with a best time of 2’02,876.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“Here at Sepang we worked on two fronts, the new electronics and the Michelin tyres. I’m rather satisfied with the progress the tyres show, especially the front which provides the riders with a good feeling and lets them push with confidence. On the electronics front, on the other hand, we still have a lot of work to do in order to reach a satisfactory base level. We need more time to figure out how to take the best advantage of the settings for all the parameters. Overall we have taken some steps forward and now we have the most difficult challenge ahead – taking the new 2016 bike onto the track.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“Three very useful days to increase our familiarity with the new aspects of this season, tyres and the new electronics. Being able to finish various assessments was extremely important, especially in terms of the electronics, in order to create a good base setup to transfer to the new prototype. Stefan and Alvaro once again proved to be great professionals. The data collected will allow us to streamline setting up development on the new bike. It will début before long and I would like to thank all the Aprilia engineers and technicians who put in an enormous effort to make a new bike. We can’t wait to see it in action.”
“We did a lot of work over these three days, especially on the electronics. We put in a lot of short sessions to give our technicians a change to analyse a large quantity of small changes, gathering information which will then be analysed at home. There is still a lot to do. For the tyres I’m beginning to learn the characteristics and the feeling has greatly improved. After riding for my entire MotoGP career on a certain type of tyre it took some time to adapt. I can’t wait to get to Doha where there will be more days of hard work but with the important motivation of the new bike.”