FALL TEMPERATURES WELCOME APRILIA TO THE RED BULL RING
GOOD IMPROVEMENT FOR BAUTISTA, BRADL HINDERED BY A CRASH
The brand new Austrian Red Bull Ring hosted the first two MotoGP practice sessions under a dark grey sky. These are very different conditions than those during the tests two weeks ago with very cold asphalt, a situation that demands an added effort from the riders and teams as they look for the best setup.
Alvaro Bautista rode a cautious first session, whereas in FP2 in the afternoon he demonstrated encouraging improvement, especially in terms of a consistent pace. Fast even with very worn tyres, the Spanish rider rode his Aprilia RS-GP to sixteenth place in the combined standings with a time of 1'25.882: an improvement of more than two seconds compared to his performance in FP1.
His Aprilia Racing Team Gresini teammate, Stefan Bradl, had to reckon with a track that is completely new to him, since he missed the tests three weeks ago because he was recovering from a fall in the warmup at the Sachsenring. His day was further conditioned by a crash in the first session, without any physical consequences, but a hindrance nonetheless for finding the right confidence on the Austrian asphalt.
"Today we found completely different conditions than we had during the tests. Between the morning and the afternoon there was an improvement, but the temperatures still stayed rather low. I tackled FP1 cautiously, whereas in FP2 we were able to get in some good practice. In particular, the harder rear tyre gave me good sensations, especially in terms of pace and consistency. I feel satisfied especially because, without considering the top two, we are not far from the riders ahead of us and tomorrow we will definitely be able to improve. We will also be using a new engine which, on this track, could help us shave of a few tenths".
"Today was definitely not a simple day. The very low temperatures did not help me to gain confidence on this new track, where I have never ridden a MotoGP bike, and the crash this morning did not make things any easier. The front wheel came off the asphalt and as soon as it came down it locked up. Fortunately I was not injured. In FP2 I gradually found my pace. Tomorrow the weather might improve and that will help us".