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Aprilia Shows Their All-New 2-16 RS-GP Prototype

Aprilia took their all-new MotoGP prototype to Qatar for a private test ahead of the final IRTA session, and yesterday both factory riders used the machine alongside the rest of the grid. The 2016 Aprilia RS-GP is the first 100% in-house project from the house of Noale and represents the beginning of a new era for the Italian manufacturer.
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A part of the most successful motorcycle group of all time, Piaggio, Aprilia thus puts an end to a rather frustrating and, worst of all, hopeless period in their history. Until recently, the Italian house fielded a motorcycle derived from their WSBK-spec RSV4 bike, a machine that had no chance to put up a serious, credible fight in the premier class.

However, the final IRTA test of the pre-season brings a whole lot of changes for both Noale and their riders, Spaniard Alvaro Bautista and German Stefan Bradl. Unlike in the past, Romano Albesiano, the boss of Aprilia’s Reparto Corse (Racing Division), and a team of around 70 engineered a bike from scratch. The first thing that was created was the all-new V4 engine, which is now smaller on all three axes, lighter, and more powerful.

The 2016 RS-GP was then designed and built around the powerplant, with an all-new frame and swingarm, and all the bits and pieces redesigned to fit the new machine to perfection. As Aprilia officials say, the 2016 RS-GP is the most ambitious and thrilling project ever for the Italian house, especially as every vital component of the bike has been engineered, manufactured and tested in-house.

Aprilia has not revealed any tech spec sheet, not even in the skimpy shape Ducati, Yamaha or Honda do, so the 2016 RS-GP is still a bit of a mystery in certain areas. For example, Noale mentions that the firing order of the four cylinders of the narrow V engine was changed, but that’s about all we know.

At the end of the first day of the Qatar test, Bradl was Aprilia’s best rider, in the 19th position, still a good 2.614 seconds adrift from the leader Lorenzo, while Bautista only managed to put in 16 laps, confronting an electronic issue, and was 22nd.

Of course, more details will follow shortly and we’ll bring them to you. For now, we can only say that the 2016 Aprilia RS-GP has one of the vilest sound signatures on the entire grid.

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