BRADL ELEVENTH AND BAUTISTA TWELFTH AFTER THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSIONS
A positive first day of practice opened up Aprilia's Japanese weekend. The RS-GP machines ridden by Bradl and Bautista finished respectively in eleventh and twelfth place in the combined standings for the first two sessions.
Looking for the best setup on the Motegi track, Stefan and Alvaro tested different chassis and electronics configurations, as well as trying out the performance of the tyre options that Michelin has provided for this race. Work in the Aprilia Racing Team garage will continue tomorrow with particular attention on the FP3 times. In fact, this is the morning session where the riders could go straight through to Q2, a result that Aprilia has achieved in the last two championship rounds at Misano and Aragón.
Stefan Bradl, also involved in a harmless crash in FP2, assessed today's two sessions as positive. Having found a good feeling straight away, the German rider now intends to focus on consistency in his performance. Ninth in the morning session, Alvaro Bautista made a few important changes to the setup for the afternoon without finding any major improvements, but continuing to explore how his RS-GP reacts.
"This morning went well. We got the base settings right. In the afternoon, precisely for this reason, we decided to try a rather significant change to see if we could take another step forward as we have in recent races. We did not achieve the result that we had hoped for, but in any case our situation is good. Tomorrow we will resume with the references from FP1, working on the details to shave of a few more tenths".
"This was a good start for us. In both sessions we were quite fast. We had a few uncertainties in FP1 that we were able to solve and the second session was very positive. The base setting proved to be good and we improved it during practice. We can still improve. We need to work on both the setup and the electronics to keep performance consistent in view of the race, a phase where we need the bike's support. I hope to continue in this direction tomorrow as well".