BRADL, IN THE BATTLE FOR POSITIONS UP TO EIGHTH PLACE THROUGHOUT THE RACE, FINISHES JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP TEN.
TWELFTH PLACE FOR BAUTISTA.
With only the warmup held on a dry track, the MotoGP riders took on the Phillip Island race without any references in terms of settings and tyres. This was a difficult situation, especially for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, which also had to do without the information their rivals had collected during the tests on the Australian circuit at the beginning of the season. Despite these conditions, Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista's race was decidedly positive. Both riders rode their RS-GP machines into the points zone, just missing the top 10 and succeeding, along with their respective technical teams, in finding the solution for a rather complicated situation.
Stefan Bradl, starting from the eighth spot on the grid, stayed with the group battling for seventh place from the time the lights turned green. Only a less than perfect feeling in braking kept the German rider from attempting an attack, in any case skilfully finishing in eleventh place.
It was an extremely prudent race for Bautista. In the warmup session the Spaniard had complained of problems with grip and he administered the 27 laps of the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix well. Alvaro battled to move up from his sixth row starting position, overtaking first Laverty and then Hernandez, with whom he engaged in a duel for twelfth place that was decided in the Spaniard's favour during the final lap.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"The impossibility of fine-tuning the settings because of the bad weather during practice weighed on us more than on the other teams. We still have Stefan’s good result this weekend, the best qualifiers of the season for us, and the reaction of both riders in the race. Today it was quite easy to make mistakes, but the entire team stayed focused, finishing in the points and maintaining the continuity of our results".
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"We took on a very difficult weekend. We paid a higher price than the others because of our lack of experience on this track. Not being able to lap consistently in practice created some problems for us, but we gained some great experience. Today it was important to get to the chequered flag with as many points as possible and we did just that. Bradl battled in a group that was fighting for important positions. Both riders finished in the points, so our growth trend is continuing. It takes patience, but we are working well".
"This was definitely not an easy weekend. I was never able to practice on the dry except in the warmup this morning, where I did not have a good feeling. It felt like I was riding on ice. At the start, I did not know what to expect. We made a few changes to the bike that improved my confidence, especially with the rear tyre. Toward the end I battled with a few riders, having fun in the duel with Hernandez, despite the fact that I was not at 100% like in recent races. It was a strange weekend for everyone, but we were able to bring home some points anyway".
"After the warmup session I had some doubts. Last year we had struggled and it seemed like it could be a repeat of that situation, since I had big grip problems. We made a lot of changes before the race and 27 laps later, I can say that I am satisfied. We finished in the points and our times were good. Unfortunately, I was unable to attack the riders ahead of me because our gearbox was a bit short, so in the straight I struggled to stay in the slipstream. In any case, eleventh place is still a good result. I am leaving for Malaysia looking at the positive sides of this strange weekend".