Aprilia Racing Confirms Stefan Bradl as Rider Through the 2015 Season

Stefan Bradl and Forward Racing have finally parted ways after about a week of high tension discussions. The German rider will don the Aprilia Racing Gresini livery and his first race as a Noale factory driver will take place this very weekend.
Stefan Bradl confirmed to ride an Aprilia facotry bike for the second half of 2015. 1 photo
Bradl and Aprilia will be together for the first time this week as the World Championship gets underway after the summer break. The upcoming round brings the teams on North American ground at Indianapolis, in the US, with the race on August the 9th.

Aprilia and Bradl have signed a deal through the end of the 2015 season, but in case the collaboration starts to show good potential, we might get to see it extended into 2016 and beyond. Bradl was indicated as a most valuable asset by of Aprilia's most trusted riders ever, Max Biaggi.

Bradl arrives at Aprilia with massive support from Max Biaggi

He is known for not giving advice too easily or too often, but when bringing Bradl over to the Noale outfit came into the discussion, the Italian was categoric in recommending that such a move could be the best one for the team.

One of the strongest points in having Bradl as a factory rider is his past experience with factory-supported satellite motorcycles. As Aprilia is building a completely new MotoGP prototype bike for 2016, having a factory rider who can analyze and provide feedback comparing the new machine to other factory bikes is a boon that' hard to come by.

Bradl's presence at Aprilia is also expected to provide better racing results than Marco Melandri, who the German is replacing, delivered. So far, Bradl earned nine points riding the Yamaha-powered Forward Racing bike, whereas Melandri failed at this utterly.

2015 was, from the beginning, a year of compromise for Aprilia. They started to develop a whole new race machine, testing certain parts and technologies on the existing ART prototype. Even though the expectations were nowhere near comparable to what other manufacturers had, Melandri being the last rider to cross the finish line was definitely not what the team's boss Romano Albesiano had in mind. Alvaro Bautista sits 17th halfway through the season with 13 points, within striking range of Loris Baz (14 points) and Hector Barbera (19 points).

As Forward Racing will not take the start at Indianapolis, Bautista has good chances of getting in front of Baz, and making a move on Barbera. It will be hard to take on the next rider, however. Scott Redding has 3 points and rides an unquestionably superior factory-backed Honda for Marc VDS.

Aprilia expects that Bradl will get acquainted with the new bike during the next three races, as he will instruct the mechanics how to tailor it according to his style. And with the German's potential, we might just see Aprilia slowly rising to the expectations of a full-factory entry towards the end of 2015 and in 2016.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories