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The seamless gearbox makes its debut on the Aprilia RS-GP bikes ridden by Bautista and Melandri. The chassis and setups have also undergone many changes

Mugello Circuit (Italy), 29 May 2015 - The first day of free practice at the Italian Grand Prix forced Aprilia Racing Team Gresini to set an extraordinary work pace. In fact, if the entire 2015 season is set up as a long and demanding test of the MotoGP project's growth for the Italian team, the home round is characterised by a series of development changes on the Aprilia V4.

As already announced, the seamless gearbox made its début on Friday. This is a continuous shifting system which, after the tests that only Bautista conducted at the post-Jerez sessions, here it is available for both riders. Some changes to the setup and chassis arrived as well for the RS-GP bikes. A series of new solutions tested directly in the races in accordance with the spirit of this championship season.

At the end of the first day Alvaro finished in 21st place (1’49.741) whereas Melandri had the 26th best time at 1’51.800.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“We brought the seamless gearbox to the races for the first time. It worked very well with both riders and this is an important step taken. It is quite significant that even Melandri, who also tried the bike with the conventional gearbox today, confirmed the clear difference between the two solutions. Marco also tried a front end with various rigidity but that doesn't seem like the right direction for us. At the moment we are focusing a lot on the setup because that's where we want to improve the most.”

“We are really working a lot on various areas of the bike, trying a lot of new parts, so in this first phase we certainly couldn't expect immediate progress. We are continuing our policy of baby steps and we hope to see the first signs of progress as early as tomorrow. We are all fully committed, from Aprilia to the team and the riders, so we will continue to stay focused and confident as tomorrow approaches.”

“This morning I tried a more tapered saddle with new ergonomics which make me feel a bit more comfortable on the bike, in addition to the seamless gearbox and an engine evolution. On the gearbox I had the same good feelings as the tests at Jerez so I'm satisfied. In the afternoon I tried a smaller fairing which performed well in the wind tunnel and on the track it also seems to provide some advantages in terms of more agility. The bike still tends to go wide coming into turns but tomorrow I'll have both the bikes fitted with all the changes so it will be easier to focus on chassis comparisons, which is the area where I think we have the most room for improvement.”

“Today I was able to try the new seamless gearbox for the first time and it works well. Aprilia did a good job. As for the chassis the situation hasn't changed and I had the same problems that have continued to slow me down since the beginning of the year. So tomorrow we'll try to work more on the chassis to improve.”

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