CONSISTENT PERFORMANCE REWARDS APRILIA AT LE MANS
ALVARO BAUTISTA AND STEFAN BRADL IN THE TOP 10
At Le Mans Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl rode both of the Aprilia RS-GP machines into the top 10 thanks to shrewd performance that allowed them to capitalise on various crashes. After avoiding pointless risks on a treacherous first corner, both riders focused hard on the track and set a rather incisive pace, especially in the middle portion of the long French race.
Bautista in particular made up quite a few positions after finding himself in 21st place, both due to a few of his rivals crashing and thanks to a series of fast laps. The Spanish rider remained calm despite a crash in the warm up that conditioned the final tweaking operations, able to use the bike in the best possible configuration at the start thanks to the hard work of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini mechanics in the garage. The ninth place finish is to Alvaro's merit on a track that proved to be rather demanding throughout the weekend.
After a good start, Stefan Bradl lost a few seconds during the tenth lap due to contact with another rider. The German rider skilfully recovered, staying behind his teammate until the chequered flag came out, crossing the wire in tenth place. This is a result that places him in an excellent twelfth position for the overall rider standings.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“This was a weekend where we ran into a few difficulties with the setup, a situation that pushed us to try some new things in terms of the chassis and electronics. This is a positive aspect in certain respects, since this is an entirely new project. Despite a few problems, we achieved a good result in the race, partly to the credit of our mechanics who repaired the bikes that were damaged during warm up in record time. Our work goes on and we'll do whatever we can to give Alvaro and Stefan an increasingly higher performance RS-GP”.
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
“In the race today consistency was rewarded and in terms of points, a result like this in an extremely high level championship is very positive. It was a difficult weekend, but despite this the bike continued to respond positively. We did not find any particular weak points, but quite simply the need to develop all the various aspects - something that is not easy to do during the weekend with so little available time”.
“This morning we tried something different and, despite the crash, we noticed an improvement. Unfortunately, in the race the instrument cluster signalled some errors during the first laps so I started off cautiously. Then everything sorted itself out and I was able to find my pace. In terms of performance, the race was the best session of the weekend. Starting from behind I was able to recover positions and, to be honest, I did not expect to finish ninth. I'm very pleased and I must really thank the mechanics for fixing the bike after the crash during warm up and Aprilia for their continued work on the RS-GP”.
“I'm obviously happy about the final result, but not so much about how the race went. I had a great start and I followed my strategy of pushing hard in the first laps. Then, unfortunately, contact with Barbera as I was overtaking him bent my brake lever and I had to fix it on the fly twice as I couldn't find the ideal position. Without this problem I would have been able to stay in the group of riders that were making a play for a better position, and that would have changed my race, although toward the end I was forced to slow down because I was struggling to maintain my pace. It was a difficult weekend, but we are finishing it with a good result anyway”.