THE ITALIAN TEAM TAKES ON THE PHILLIP ISLAND TRACK TO CONFIRM THE PROGRESS THE RS-GP MACHINES HAVE MADE
The first of the intercontinental "triple-header" finished with a solid result for Aprilia, a double placement in the top ten for Bautista (seventh) and Bradl (tenth). The Italian team will therefore take on the Phillip Island circuit with a good dose of high morale, supported by a technical situation that has shown consistent growth in recent rounds. The RS-GP, in its MotoGP Championship début and developed during the 2016 season, has demonstrated consistent performance in the races and in recent rounds, has also shown improved speed in qualifying.
The latter is a fundamental aspect on the Australian asphalt, historically favourable to those who start from a good spot on the grid. There are many unknown factors, beginning with the weather. During this period of the year there will probably be strong winds and mild temperatures with a chance of rain, perhaps concentrated on one part of the track, all elements that will not make the job easy for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"The Phillip Island track is quite particular, with a high average speed and long, very fast corners. Stability and the bike's ability to go into the turns at high speed are essential. Rear tyre wear on the left side is typically a critical point here. The settings for this track could require peculiar chassis set-up and electronics solutions. The team did not participate in the IRTA preseason tests at Phillip Island because we went to Doha early for the 2016 bike's first outings. This means that we are arriving on the island with a bit less information than our competitors have. In spite of the forecasts, we will be hoping for stable weather conditions from Friday so that we can put together a suitable set-up. The bike and the entire team confirmed important growth at Motegi, so we are expecting a good race here in Australia too".
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"In recent races we have seen consistent improvement both in qualifying and in the race and going through to Q2 three times in a row are proof of that, as well as the two double top-ten placements in a row at Aragón and Motegi. Racing in the spectacular setting of Phillip Island is always exciting. It is a track characterized by technical and demanding sectors like the last part, for example, which is very fast. A good set-up will be important, especially considering the probable low temperatures that will make the riders' job even harder. We are determined to have another positive weekend with both Alvaro and Stefan".
"After the good result in Japan, we are coming to Phillip Island rather enthusiastic. The track is fast and demanding, plus the weather does not make things easy, given the strong wind, the generally low temperature and the high chance of rain. This track has special characteristics, different from the standard, so we will need to do a very good job in the practice sessions. It will be important to find that feeling we had in recent races here as well. A top-10 finish is a realistic goal that we need to confirm".
"I really like the Phillip Island track. It is completely different from the Motegi track, more flowing and fast without violent braking sections. We will need a rather different set-up and that will be our biggest challenge in Australia. I feel confident. We have built up a certain amount of experience with the R-GP, so we have a clearer idea in terms of what changes to make. The goal is to keep up the good work we have been doing in recent races".