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MOTOGP QUALIFIERS AT JEREZ

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Bautista puts the fifteenth best time on the sheets to take a spot on the fifth row, his best performance thus far in the early stages of the season

Jerez (Spain), 2nd May 2015 - Alvaro Bautista rode his RS-GP to fifteenth place (in 1’39.612) and with his best performance qualifying in this early part of the season he secured a spot on the fifth row for tomorrow's race.

This is a sign of the progress that Aprilia Racing Team Gresini has achieved in the first rounds of the championship, moving the Spanish rider into that group that is the short-term goal at the moment. Now the challenge remains to confirm the progress shown today in a race tomorrow that promises to be difficult due to the hot conditions and poor grip. Melandri is a bit farther back, twenty-fifth (1’41.273) and also hindered by problems with his brakes on his best laps.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)

“My compliments to Alvaro who did very well both in qualifying and in the morning free practice. Now we need to work on making this performance consistent. We have the potential to ride a good race. I'm pleased because we are making progress and strengthening our presence in a group of bikes and riders who are much farther ahead of us in terms of MotoGP experience. This is a great result considering the fact that ours is truly a lab bike and that we are really learning a lot in preparation for next season. It was a shame that Marco also had problems with his brakes and that kept him from performing at his best.”

FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)

“Today Bautista deserves a great round of applause. He put a really good time on the sheets and lapped fast despite the really difficult conditions due to the heat. He put in a respectable time that gives us confidence for a race that will be hard for everyone. I think we'll be able to do well tomorrow. Starting strong will be important and we have a good spot on the grid. Then it will be important to find the right race pace straight away because it will be challenging both physically for the rider and for the tyres.”

ALVARO BAUTISTA

“We worked well today to improve compared to yesterday. It was a positive day, partly because of all the data we were able to acquire. On my flying lap I simply tried to be as precise as possible, riding the bike that I felt most confident on, but we can even improve more on this, especially in the acceleration phase where I'm still lacking a lot of grip. The race will be hard. This track really eats up the tyres and making the right choice will be important. Today I tested the hard front tyre and I think that's what I'll go with for the race, whereas on the rear we'll mount the soft tyre. I think it is consistent enough for race length.”

MARCO MELANDRI

“We worked hard in all the sessions and then reaped less of a reward than we wanted in the qualifying session. Today I was also having some problems with the brakes but the truth is that I need some really radical changes and until I am entirely confident on the bike I just won't be able to push the way I'd like to.”

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