GROWTH OF THE RS-GP MACHINES - TODAY IN RED TO CELEBRATE (RED) - CONFIRMED IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON
ALBESIANO: “THE BIKE HAS GROWN. WE ARE CONSISTENTLY IN THE TOP TEN AND STILL IMPROVING"
Alvaro Bautista (tenth) rode his Aprilia RS-GP to a top ten finish at the Valencia GP that close out the 2016 Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing season.
Stefan Bradl (thirteenth) also finished in the points, bringing home a good team result worthy of the positive conclusion to a season that, especially in the second half, saw the RS-GP machines and the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders consistently battling for a spot in the top ten, the stated goal for Venetian V4's rookie season, sometimes doing even better with placements like the seventh place finishes achieved in Argentina (Bradl) and Japan (Bautista).
Alvaro, in his last race with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and penalized by his start from the eighteenth spot on the grid, came back little by little, confident with his pace and the overall good balance of the bike. After overtaking Miller, Redding and Petrucci, he fended off Barbera's final attempts and, with the six points earned, overtook Laverty in the overall championship standings, finishing the season with a nice twelfth place.
Bradl (also in his last race with Aprilia), after a start that had relegated him to the back of the pack, skilfully came back, even overtaking Redding in the finale to finish thirteenth.
The Aprilia RS-GP machines showed off an entirely red livery in the race, without any other sponsors or even the Aprilia logo, in order to celebrate (RED), the organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver that, with $360 million in assistance, has contributed to the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in African countries since 2006.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"We finished a very important season for Aprilia. We brought our MotoGP bike to its début, taking it to the races straight away and developing it throughout the season. For the past few rounds our level has allowed us to stay consistently in the top ten, which was our goal. The bike has grown and the racing department with it. We are a strong and motivated team that still has potential for growth. In addition to everyone on the team, I particularly wish to thank our riders, who believed in our project and who have earned our respect. I wish Stefan and Alvaro all the best and now we will already begin thinking about next season, which will start in a few hours".
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"Analysing the season, the first goal was to get through all the races without any technical issues keeping us from finishing, which is not a given for such a fledgling project. We demonstrated our potential to our rivals, growing consistently. We have a long road ahead, but we are moving in the right direction. We are proud of the results achieved and my thanks go to everyone: to Aprilia who has always given 100%, as well as to the team at the track and the riders. After such strong emotions, it is already time to reset and restart, with an even stronger desire to show what we are capable of achieving".
"In the second half of the season, we began to reap the fruits of a lot of hard work, much of which done last year as well. We went in the right direction for development. Aprilia did a great job and the materials worked the way we expected them to. We improved a lot and now I wish all the best to Aprilia and the team with whom I experienced two years of hard work, but great satisfaction in the progress the bike has made. I always gave it my all, but I must thank my engineers and my mechanics, because they did an exceptional job, always seeking to provide me with the best solution. The race today was good, if you consider that, starting from behind, we went from almost six seconds from the race leader in the first lap to finishing with a dignified gap, especially considering that this is one of the most difficult tracks for the RS-GP".
"It was a very exciting race, especially in the second half when I was able to push and overtake Redding, besides the fact that it is my last MotoGP race. Speaking of the race, unfortunately, after the warm up we had to replace the clutch and I was unable to make a good start, which did not make things simple. We decided to start with the soft front tyre, which we had not used in the afternoon sessions, and that meant that I had to adapt a bit, especially in the first laps. From the mid-race point on things improved, but the gap was already too big to strive for a better position. In any case, we finished in the points and, on a track that is difficult for us, that result was not a given. I wish to thank all the guys and Aprilia. This experience has helped me to grow as a rider, taking on a new challenge made up of testing and developing a new project. We can be satisfied with the work we have done and I wish them the best of luck for the future".