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Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – Grand Prix of Catalunya, Free Practice


Barcelona (Spain), 12 June 2015 – On the Montmelò Catalan track the practice sessions for Sunday’s GP got underway. The Aprilia RS-GP bikes ridden by Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri are on the track.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini also had a midweek track session with tests that Bautista conducted on Wednesday at the Misano circuit. Some of the solutions the Spanish rider tested were brought to Barcelona in keeping with the “test season” spirit that characterises the Italian team’s year.

Bautista finished today’s free practice sessions with the 21st best time (in 1’43,463), placing just behind a group of riders who are all grouped within a few tenths of a second of one another, so Saturday will be decisive in trying to gain positions. Melandri was lagging a bit behind, finishing in 25th place with a best time of 1’45,270.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“These were two very demanding sessions in terms of bike setup. Barcelona is a very complex track but toward the end of the session we made significant improvement with Alvaro, also trying some of the solutions we had tested at Misano. We’ll use some others tomorrow with the goal of increasing grip to the rear, which is currently our most important objective. Marco was also feeling a general instability with the bike, so we have a few different solutions there as well that we’ll try on the track Saturday.”

“Today Alvaro worked a lot with his mechanics as usual. He rode in the morning session with the new frame he had tested at Misano before coming here to Barcelona and then he focused on the one he had been using up to now. He also improved his times in the afternoon, moving up in the positions. There are still a lot of little things that need to be improved for tomorrow and hopefully we will go down the right path so that they can work together in the best possible way for us to keep progressing.”

“This was an important day because we wanted to try the frame we had tested at Misano straight away. I found some advantages there, but here the difference wasn’t quite as clear, so obviously it depends on the circuit. Now we need to improve above all in the braking sections and we need more grip on the fast turns.”

“Today we worked on the setup and we had some difficulties, especially in terms of grip. So tomorrow we’ll try to make a few changes to the frame geometries, trying to reach a higher level of confidence with the bike.”

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