MotoGP: An RS-GP Gift For Bautista

Aprilia’s second 10th place finish of the year—this time at one of the company’s home Grands Prix—shows the team is making solid progress, with Alvaro Bautista getting a reward for his efforts

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Alvaro Bautista scored two top 10 finishes at the previous Grands Prix, showing great strides in the fledgling MotoGP program.Photo Courtesy of Aprilia

A 10th in Silverstone, another 10th in Misano...the development of Albesiano Romano’s Aprilia has stepped forward in recent races. The Grand Prix at Misano was an important race for the Noale factory. It’s a race on home soil and an opportunity to bring to light the work that’s been done behind closed doors on the MotoGP “Cinderella” project.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini prepared for this race with some practice tests, sharing the track with Ducati on Tuesday ahead of the British GP. While it remains to be seen whether it was because of these tests or not, the fact is that the San Marino GP was the best to date for Albesiano’s riders. Alvaro Bautista was particularly good—the Spanish rider was consistent and competitive throughout the course of the weekend.

Sixteenth in FP1 and 13th in FP2 on Saturday morning, Bautista put his RS-GP into the top 10, leaving behind the Ducatis of Scott Redding, Hector Barbera, Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci, and Yonny Hernandez ... names that until recently have always been ahead of Aprilia. This good work in FP3 led to an Aprilia entering directly into QP2 for the first time since their return to MotoGP.

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Team boss Albesiano Romano had a little incentive program going at the team's home Grand Prix - a 2015 RS-GP to the guy who made it into Q2.Photo Courtesy of Aprilia

Bautista showed on Sunday that his performance in practice was not the result of chance or a fluke. After colliding with Redding on the second lap and running off track, Bautista began a comeback race. The reward ultimately was his second 10th place in a week.

"This was definitely the best weekend since I joined the team. We did the maximum we could do," declared a satisfied Bautista after the race. "Yesterday they brought me a new chassis that was a big improvement in the race. Sometimes it may not look it, but we are working hard and we're taking steps forward. Sometimes they are small, but we are always moving forward."

The story of the weekend is that Albesiano had offered to give his riders an incentive: an RS-2015 GP if they could go directly into QP2 in Misano...and Bautista did it.