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Losail (Qatar), 29 March 2015 - The first race for the RS-GP was long-awaited by the entire Aprilia Racing Team Gresini as an essential test to assess how far development has come on the young project in an actual competition.

But contact with Marc Marquez in turn 6 of the first lap put Alvaro Bautista - the rider who had shown the most encouraging progress throughout the weekend - out of the game, damaging the front left brake lines and the sensors.

Marco Melandri rode his Aprilia across the wire, accumulating laps, information and sensations that will be important for the RS-GP growth process.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
"It's a shame about what happened to Alvaro because of everything this weekend, this was the most long-awaited test. The most important. It would have been truly essential to see where Alvaro would have placed in comparison to that big pack he was fighting in through the first turns of the race, but unfortunately the move Marquez made damaged the bike too badly for it to continue. This was our spirit taking on the first race because it was a test, and this is how it will be in this initial phase of the season, both for the bike and the entire team. Now we need to analyse all the data Marco collected, since he rode his RS-GP all the way to the finish."

"What happened in the first race was an important experience for Alvaro and for the entire team, especially in order to bring home all that information that only a race can provide. It's a good sign that Marco finished his race. Of course that isn't enough and we have a lot of work to do in order to improve, but it is a first signal to start from."

"Unfortunately the race test that we had planned ended straight away: Marquez got off to a bad start and he wanted to make up positions quickly, but without considering the fact that there were other riders on the track. In turn 6 he squeezed between Barbera and me, I have no idea how, hitting me and ruining the front brake area, lines and sensors. It was impossible to continue. I'm sorry because Marc is a good guy, but he has been too aggressive in the past in these types of situations. I think it is only right to point it out to him because it's risky. Today I was lucky because I didn't crash, but it doesn't take much to get hurt out there. So, like I said, we weren't able to complete our test today but we must not forget this episode and we need to be thinking about the next round in Austin already. It is a very different track than this one where we'll have the opportunity to check all the data gathered this weekend to develop the bike and look for ways to improve."

"It wasn't the fastest race of my life, but on a new bike in a new category it's what we expected. On the other hand, we finished the race, our first true long run, and we gathered a lot of data that will be essential to our development process. We need time. When the bike starts working well my riding style will also improve and we'll be able to take a decisive step. Now it's up to the guys at Aprilia to interpret my sensations and translate them into changes to the RS-GP. We have some more complicated races ahead of us, since I am unfamiliar with the Austin and Argentina tracks, but they will give us more pointers to work on."

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