WITH BRADL’S TENTH PLACE AND BAUTISTA’S ELEVENTH, APRILIA CONTINUES TO COLLECT IMPORTANT POINTS AT AUSTIN
After the Aprilia RS-GP machines’ positive performance in Argentina, the Circuit of the Americas in Austin also confirmed how the Italian project is growing. With Stefan Bradl’s tenth place and Alvaro Bautista’s eleventh in Texas, this makes five finishes in the points in the first 3 races of the season.
But the end result, also favoured by a few crashes, is not the only reason for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini to be proud. A good start by Alvaro Bautista, skilfully moving up no less than five positions on the first corner, allowed the Spanish rider to move into fourteenth place with a good pace. However, as occurred in all of the races held so far, Alvaro was the innocent victim of contact with another rider that forced him to ride a comeback race from nineteenth place, something he did steadfastly until six laps from the end, when tyre wear began to take its toll.
Stefan Bradl built a solid race, capitalising well on the settings found during the practice sessions, as well as his particular familiarity with the American track. Especially in the middle portion of the race, the German rider demonstrated excellent speed, making up ground on his rivals. In the finale Stefan managed his advantage skilfully, avoiding any pointless risks and finishing (tenth) for the second time in a row in the top 10.
ROMANO ALBESIANO – APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“In these first three races of the season with the new bike we have shown good performance, providing a glimpse of our great potential and already promising reliability. There are obviously areas where development is lacking. The test team will begin working with Mike di Meglio next week and I’m sure that this will streamline our schedule. I am confident because at the end of this race, both Stefan and Alvaro once again confirmed the RS-GP’s good performance for me. We need to improve in terms of the engine and the electronics and we need to explore a lot of chassis solutions, but we are headed back to Europe with a good base”.
FAUSTO GRESINI – TEAM MANAGER
“I am truly satisfied with this result, well-deserved by all: Aprilia, the team and the riders. I’m sure I’ll sound repetitive, but we must remember just how new this bike is, with great potential that we can explore only by putting in a lot of laps and gathering as much information as possible. The result of these last two rounds is decidedly positive”.
“A good race, but I cannot be 100% satisfied. I had a very good start, recovering several positions on the first turn and then contact with Baz dropped me back. When you have to come back from behind everything becomes more difficult. You have to physically force everything, deteriorating the tyre quickly and increasing the risk of making mistakes. It’s a shame because in the race we showed that we can be consistent and competitive. If I had stayed up with the second group, I’m sure we could have made a play for a better position. In these first three races, I have unfortunately never been able to show my potential because of external factors, but the results that we were able to achieve anyway give me confidence”.
“A great result for us. I was quite competitive throughout the weekend. We made great progress, especially with the electronics. I am pleased because we continue to test and improve with every session. We are moving in the right direction. The team did a great job. Before the race I was very relaxed because I knew that I had a good pace. I lost a few positions at the start, just like in Argentina. I still don’t have quite the right feeling releasing the clutch and, especially here with the first turn on an uphill, missing that initial launch becomes a problem. In the turns the RS-GP really performed well. We are still lacking something in terms of power, but I’m confident because the guys at Aprilia ensured me that important updates are on the way”.