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The Aprilia RS-GP project makes its début

Romano Albesiano: "In order to grow we need to get into the mix with our rivals right away in race conditions, bearing in mind the difficulties that such a demanding new project will inevitably face"

Fausto Gresini: "Bautista's performance is positive. Melandri needs to adapt to a completely new technical situation, but we are confident"

Sepang (Malaysia), 6 February 2015 – The first three days of MotoGP 2015 testing have just come to an end at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Essential information was drawn from the "three days" of testing for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. The new RS-GP showed good potential which now needs to be completely refined. Compared to the previous version, which was developed on a base that the Aprilia Racing Department knew very well, the changes are such to require further checks.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager had this to say about the first tests at Sepang: “I can confirm what I said yesterday. The initial results are definitely positive, considering the fact that the new RS-GP is taking its first steps and that Aprilia's return to MotoGP is a year ahead of schedule to fully develop the project during the course of the sport season. In order to grow we need to get into the mix with our rivals right away in race conditions, bearing in mind the difficulties that such a demanding new project will inevitably face."

The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini is already looking toward the second round of tests, also scheduled at Sepang: "The next tests will certainly give us a clearer idea of our potential. These last few days we put the Aprilia bike on the track which will be the one we use this season and we collected an important amount of data that we will use to base our 2015 development on” added Romano Albesiano. "There were a lot of technical aspects to tackle, but that is quite normal considering the fact that this was the first shakedown. I'm sure we would feel less pressure if it were just us lapping on private tracks, but that wasn't Aprilia's intention."

Fausto Gresini: “Considering the fact that the project is in its fledgling states and that right now we are obviously still not interested in lap times, I think that Bautista's performance over these three days was positive. Keep in mind also that Sepang is also one of the most demanding and difficult tracks of the championship. After testing the new Aprilia RS-GP Alvaro decided to go back and focus on the 2014 version which is giving him a better feeling at the moment. Along with the mechanics he worked quite a lot on both fronts to gather a large amount of data which will be used by the Aprilia Racing engineers to develop the technical package. As for Melandri, we knew that it would not be easy for him to get used to a completely new technical situation. Marco needs to adapt his riding style to this type of tyre and we know that takes time. We have confidence in him. The important thing is that he stays focused and determined.”

Marco Melandri and Alvaro Bautista, the riders who have the task of developing the new Aprilia MotoGP project, worked hard over the last three days, assessing new material and conducting comparison tests with the previous version of the bike. While the only change for Alvaro is the bike, Marco on the other hand had to adapt to a brand new environment with a very different technical package compared to the one he had last year.

Bautista stopped the clock with a best time of 2’01.924 out of a total of 157 laps, whereas Melandri took a total of 156 laps with his best one finishing at 2’03.641.

Alvaro Bautista: “I'm quite pleased with these first three days of testing. The team worked well, giving me maximum support. On the first two days I conducted various comparisons between the bike used at the end of last year and the new RS-GP which, in any case, is still not giving me good sensations in terms of chassis performance. So on the last day I decided to focus on the 2014 version in order to gather as much data as possible and to allow the engineers to work in view of the next tests, scheduled at the end of the month. We worked a lot on the electronics and did various setup tests and I'm pleased with what we found. The important thing is that we know which areas need improvement. We gathered a lot of data so the result is positive. Aprilia is very committed. I'm confident for the next session.”

Marco Melandri: “I admit that I was expecting a better début, but when we decided to take on this new adventure we knew that is would be a lot of hard work for us. I have to build a feeling with the bike completely from scratch. We need time and we need to think about what we found in these tests in order to improve as quickly as possible.”

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