“This was an odd first day. The weather made things difficult, especially during FP1. I crashed as it began to rain on a turn where many others crashed. Fortunately, I was not hurt. In the afternoon the conditions improved a bit, but the setting we started with turned out not to be effective. We changed the rear of the bike in one direction, without finding any great benefits, and then toward the end of the session we went back to a configuration that we know better. The feeling was improving, but unfortunately the session was over by that time. Hopefully tomorrow the better weather will allow us to continue working in this direction which seems to be able to bring good results”.
FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT THE GERMAN GP
ON THE SACHSENRING, WITH FALL WEATHER, THE APRILIAS RIDDEN BY BAUTISTA AND BRADL ARE TRYING TO FIND THE BEST SETTING FOR THE QUALIFYING TOMORROW
Typically fall weather, with temperatures between 13 and 16 degrees Celsius and a constant threat of rain, characterised the opening Friday of the German MotoGP Championship weekend.
The first session, partly due to the damp track that cause a lot of crashes, had the Aprilia riders sitting in the garage for most of the time available and it was not very helpful for fine tuning the bikes. Stefan Bradl also had a sliding crash that ended without any consequences for the rider. The afternoon session went better when Bautista and Bradl were able to lap with some consistency, obviously dropping their times significantly compared to the morning, as well as finding some good sensations and collecting a series of data that will be useful for finding the best setup for tomorrow, when the riders will be competing for the spots on the starting grid.
In fact, all of the work done today by the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini focused on an initial general setup for the RS-GP, which will be taking on the short and winding German circuit for the first time. At the end of the two sessions, Alvaro Bautista finished in 17th place (1’23.958), just ahead of teammate Stefan Bradl, 18th with 1’24.116.
“With the weather conditions today we certainly could not push to the limit, so we had a general initial contact with the Sachsenring. The feelings are not bad at all, although we didn't force our hand. This is a track where you are in turns for a lot of the time, so traction is very important, especially at maximum lean angle. Today we tried to find as much as possible, especially using the electronics, but that is not enough. We will also need to find more mechanical grip and avoid exploiting the traction control too much. The other front we worked on was stability, which we need to improve. We have the potential to improve a lot for the qualifiers tomorrow".