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The demanding ups and downs of Mugello led to some extremely close MotoGP practice sessions, with narrow gaps and very tight rankings. In FP4, the last free practice session before qualifying, no less than 12 riders were packed into a one second gap and as many as 17 were less than one and a half seconds from the leader.
Bautista and Bradl improved their times with respect to yesterday, Alvaro by almost a second and Stefan by more than ten tenths. This is an indicator that the work being done in the garage is moving in the right direction, despite the fact that the testing done on the two Aprilia RS-GP machines had them putting in a lot of laps on used tyres to gauge race pace.

In qualifying the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider set their sights on maximum speed on the flying lap and the tight rankings placed them in nineteenth (Bautista with 1’48,372) and twentieth place (Bradl with 1’48,646) on the starting grid. And so the battle for a finish in the points will have to wait for the 23 laps of tomorrow's race, where the two will start side by side from the seventh row.

“With the new engine we improved a bit even in acceleration and in general today I had a better feeling than yesterday. We also worked on the chassis and since this morning we have taken a step forward. Then we worked a lot with the used tyre with the race in mind and our pace is not bad. In qualifying we struggled a bit, partly because of the heat that penalises me a bit, but more than anything, on this track power is quite important and that doesn't yet help us. On the corners and in the braking sections we have made good progress, but we obviously need to improve and the race tomorrow will be an important chance to continue doing that, as we have been since the season start”.

“It's a shame because we were not able to improve as much as we had hoped. Unfortunately, we are struggling in the direction changes and if we try to improve in that area we lose stability. So it is a rather delicate compromise that, even with the many tests we did today, we were unable to get quite right. We will continue to analyse the data, testing a few other things in the warm up. We are obviously disappointed but we won't give up until the chequered flag comes out tomorrow”.

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