PROMISING FEELING FOR ALVARO BAUTISTA AND STEFAN BRADL
It was a very positive first day of practice for Aprilia at Sepang. On the Malaysian track, the RS-GP machines ridden by Bautista and Bradl proved to be competitive straight away, despite the changing weather conditions and the lack of experience on the new asphalt.
In FP1, held on a perfectly dry track, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl focused mainly on getting to know the layout without making too many changes in terms of settings and tyres. The initial feedback was good, with Alvaro ninth (2'02.011), just 8 tenths from the leader and Stefan eleventh with 2'02.164.
More positive signs arrived for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in FP2, which began on a damp track with conditions improving during the session. Bautista showed his stuff straight away, staying solidly in the top positions and then finishing with the eleventh best time at 2'12.179. Bradl started off more cautiously, progressing consistently until finishing with the eighth best time thanks to the 2'10.283 he put on the sheets in the final stage of the session when he went out with intermediate tyres.
"This morning the track was not in perfect conditions. Some sections stayed damp, so we could not push to the limit. In any case, doing a good time was important since tomorrow we are expecting rain and it could be difficult to improve before Q2. In FP2 the track was drying out. Toward the end we could have used the intermediates, but I preferred continuing with the rain tyres. In view of the race, given the weather forecast, it is important to know how the tyres will perform when the conditions change. The sensations were good. I was able to be consistent and we gathered important information".
"Today was definitely conditioned by the weather. In FP1 it was not easy, with a lot of wet spots on the track. In the end, the times were good but I am sure that they can drop farther. In the afternoon, we started with the wet setup and then used the intermediates in the final moments. The two sessions were actually not particularly productive, but I can say that I feel good on the bike. I am hoping for more stable conditions so we can work better preparing for the race".