Fast MotoGP News: Bautista with Aprilia, Di Meglio Operated, Avintia Tests Ducati

Mike Di Meglio at Misano, 2014 4 photos
Mike Di Meglio, injured on track at Misano, 2014Alvaro Bautista is happy for aa 2-season contract with ApriliaMarc Marquez milliseconds befor he lost front grip and crashed at Misano, 2014
Alvaro Bautista is stepping in as the first rider confirmed for a factory seat with Aprilia Gresini Racing team. The Spaniard has signed a two-year deal, and is now returning to ride Noale machinery after he made his GP debut in 2002 with an Aprilia 125 bike. He eventually became world champion aboard the same bike in 2006 and was a runner-up in the same class two years later.
After this moment, Bautista has stepped up to the 250cc class where he remained with Aprilia until the end of 2009, when he joined Suzuki in the MotoGP. Fausto Gresini says that retaining Alvaro Bautista is a very good thing, even though the satellite Honda will be swapped with the factory Aprilia, a bike still in need of massive development: “Alvaro has significant experience in MotoGP so his contribution will certainly be essential in developing the new projects with Aprilia in the best possible way. I believe very much in him and his potential and I am confident that he will be able to bring us the results we are expecting. Also, this two year agreement will allow us to maintain continuity in the bond between Alvaro and Gresini racing which was formed in 2012 and that has been strengthened over the years."

Bautista himself is thrilled, too: ”I am very happy to have signed an agreement with Aprilia for the next two MotoGP™ World Championship seasons. Working in close contact with a manufacturer is what I wanted for my future and Aprilia has offered me a great chance. I am also very motivated to embark on this new adventure because I am coming back to a brand that has brought me great satisfaction in the past and with which I have shared some great times.”

Avintia rider Mike Di Meglio was operated yesterday in Barcelona, at the Quiron Dexeus hospital. He was the least lucky of the MotoGP riders who crashed during the Misano weekend, as he suffered displacement fractures of the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones in his left hand. Doctor Xavier Mir operated on Di Meglio and released the Frenchman from hospital after a check-up this morning. Mike Di Meglio is already in France working on rehabilitation, trying to regain functionality of his hand and possibly making it to the next round at Motorland Aragon.

His team, which will be using Ducati machinery in the future, has confirmed that Hector Barbera will be testing the Ducati GP14 motorcycle at Mugello on 23 September. Avintia also says that the team is considering the possibility of actually having Barbera competing with the bike at Aragon.

Finally, people with a lot of patience have come up with the total number of crashes during the Misano weekend. No less than 109 wipeouts have been recorded, with the single serious injury being that of Mike Di Meglio. An almost insanely high number of crashes from a bunch of riders, but definitely still a long way from the completely wacky 130 falls the circuit of Estoril recorded back in 2010, over a rainy weekend.

At the other end, Laguna Seca seems the safest track, with an average of 11 wipeouts per weekend (MotoGP only). Is this why Laguna Seca is no longer part of the calendar? Joking, of course. Here’s a slow motion compilation from Misano, hope you enjoy it.

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