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Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Second Day of Testing at Sepang

Aprilia Racing Day 2

Sepang (Malaysia), 24 February 2015 – On the Sepang track, scorching from the almost 40°C temperatures, the MotoGP took on the second day of collective testing, the penultimate stop before getting down to business with the first round in Qatar scheduled for 29 March.

In the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini garage work continued non-stop on developing the RS-GP, the new project the Italian team will use – a year ahead of the originally announced schedule and simultaneous with efforts in WSBK, successfully launched at Phillip Island – to take on their rookie season in the top category of Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing. A lot of work was done again today on testing new material.

The two riders took on different strategies. While Alvaro Bautista, who knows the MotoGP class inside and out, continued looking for a basic setup, both in terms of chassis and electronics, Marco Melandri tackled the day by continuing his comparison of the two bikes with different characteristics, one decidedly closer to the SBK Marco rode until last year, and the other an evolution of the RS-GP in the version used during the autumn tests in Spain. For Marco the goal is to find the right feeling with the new tyres, an inevitable process before being able to push hard.

At the end of the day, with 40 laps put in, Alvaro Bautista, who tested various evolutionary steps of the RS-GP, collected some important data by exploring some solutions, especially where the chassis is concerned, which are very different than the “base” which had been established up to now. The sensations Alvaro gathered will now be analysed by Aprilia mechanics and translated based on the day tomorrow, the last day on the track with Bridgestone tyres.

ALVARO BAUTISTA
“Days like today are important when you’re developing a new project. With a few changes to the electronics yesterday we were able to take a small step forward from our last tests, whereas today we focused on the chassis, especially working on improving performance going into turns. We tested a lot of new details and although the time sheets don’t bear it out, the tests gave us some hints to analyse for the future. Tomorrow the plan is to go back to the base setup that I prefer and put in a long run where we’ll be able to see how the bike performs as the tyres wear.”

In the number 33 garage the session unwound going over what had been done yesterday, continuing the comparison between the decidedly different two bikes. This was a choice made for two reasons: to give Marco time to gain familiarity with the technical characteristics of the new materials without putting any pressure on him, and to combine the positive aspects of the information collected on both solutions in order to define the evolution of the RS-GP project.

MARCO MELANDRI
“Today we continued the work we started yesterday, starting with the SBK derived bike and then moving on to the RS-GP. Unfortunately the time sheets are still not rewarding us. I still don’t have that feeling that will let me push and ride the way I’d like to. We aren’t struggling in any particular area; it’s just the overall feeling that needs to improve before we’ll be able to get our times down. Tomorrow we’ll continue the tests. I’m certainly not expecting a revolution, but any improvement will be crucial.”