MOTOGP – THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE OF APRILIA BEGINS
The battle started for Aprilia at the COTA in Austin, Texas. The RS-GP is making its début on a rather complex track, capable of putting all the characteristics of the young Italian project to a hard test. The first free practice sessions demanding particular dedication from Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl as they searched for the best base setup to build on.
Working hard on a lot of tests, both on the setup and with the tyres, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders have still not concentrated on the flying lap, but they battled in a rather competitive area of the standings in both sessions. Bradl demonstrated a pace that could place him in the respectable end of the standings during the first phases of FP2, but then in the final phase he fell short on the time attack. Bautista, on the other hand, identified coming out of turns as the area where he needs the most work, implementing changes that the team mechanics will apply after a careful telemetry analysis.
“Between this morning and this afternoon we managed to improve the setting, but we are still losing a lot coming out of turn, especially in the switchbacks. From low speeds I'm struggling to accelerate well because the bike tends to move around a lot. We have taken a step forward for the long turns and now I'm able to go into them better. Now we need to find something else to help us take another step forward. Looking at the times we aren't too far behind the top 10 and that makes me hopeful for tomorrow”.
“After what happened in Argentina I expected to struggle more with the tyres, but instead I haven't found any big problems. The track is slightly bumpier in the first part than it had been in the past, but overall I'm quite satisfied with the practice today. Of course we have a lot of small things to sort out and we especially need to find traction, but I think that if we continue to improve step by step we'll be able to find a good setup for the race on Sunday”.