Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Reveals the All-New RS-GP Bike at Losail

The all-new Aprilia MotoGP motorcycle debuted in a private test in Qatar, at the Losail Circuit, days before the final pre-season IRTA test would take place at the same venue.
The 2016 Aprilia RS-GP 5 photos
The 2016 Aprilia RS-GPThe 2016 Aprilia RS-GPThe 2016 Aprilia RS-GPThe 2016 Aprilia RS-GP
It may be a tad late, but you know what they say, better late than never. Aprilia had to endure a rather frustrating 2015 season using the old WSBK-derived motorcycle, because the new RS-GP was not ready, but things are changing. Bradl and Bautista already started working on tweaking the new machine.

Aprilia's new RS-GP bike shares no component with the old machine fielded until now. The old bike was a spin-off based on the World Superbike model, which was itself a derivative of a road-going motorcycle.
Catching up with the rest of the field is essential for Aprilia
The house of Noale engineered an entirely new prototype dedicated to racing in the premier class, and it redesigned everything from scratch.

Using the data gathered in 2015 from the old bike and at Sepang with the "lab bike," Aprilia hopes to catch up with the development of the new RS-GP as much as possible ahead of the championship start, which will take place on March 20.

The 2016 season brings a new ECU software that is common to all the bikes on the grid and new tires, and this helps level things out a bit, but doesn't make Aprilia's job any easier. Last year, Bautista and Bradl finished 14th and 18th, respectively, using the old-spec bike, so the expectations for the season that's about to start are, of course, much higher from the Noale manufacturer.

With pneumatic valves being an asset for Aprilia for a long time and with all the new components, such as seamless gearbox and standard software, it will be interesting to see whether Aprilia will be able to find a new way to the top. We're about to see how the new bike stacks against the rest of the grid starting on March 2, also at Losail.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager: "After the Aragon shakedown with the test riders, Alvaro and Stefan began to get to know the new Aprilia RS-GP here in Qatar. These were three very intense and positive days of work. We are bringing home a lot of information and there are some growing pain problems we need to solve, but above all we are leaving with confirmation that the new bike's dynamic performance is significantly better than the 2015 bike. We have an important development path ahead of us that will be necessarily accelerated, but we are confident that this will be a season of growth toward a decidedly interesting level."

Fausto Gresini, Team Manager: "Hearing the positive comments from our riders after the first kilometers ridden astride a completely new bike was exciting. The RS-GP seems to have gotten off on the right foot. Alvaro and Stefan noticed a clear improvement in dynamic performance compared to the 2015 bike. Now we have a big development schedule ahead of us but we know we are starting from an extremely solid base."

Alvaro Bautista: "In these three days we explored the new bike, doing a lot of work with short sessions since this was the first real test with the 2016 RS-GP. Obviously we are not at 100% but we have a very good starting point. I think that we are already at a similar level as the end of 2015 with the difference being that we are just at the beginning. There is a lot of room for development whereas with the old bike we were at the limit. We still need to work on a lot of things but I'm pleased with the work Aprilia has done. In the next tests I hope to be able to lay the foundation for the new season."

Stefan Bradl: "This test was really important as it was the first contact with the new bike. First impressions are good. I see a clear difference compared to the old bike and we are moving in the right direction. At the moment I have a good feeling despite the fact that we have a long way to go before we'll be able to say that we're satisfied. That was to be expected at the beginning. This is a completely new and decidedly demanding project, but we can truly say that we are off on the right foot."


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