Here is our first good look at the 2016 Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP race bike, as the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini squad just wrapped up a three-day test in Qatar, with Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.
The entire 2016 machine is a departure from the RS-GP that was raced last year, which also means that an all-new V4 engine powers the 2016 Aprilia RS-GP. There has been much debate about what cylinder angle the new Aprilia is using, as the old bike used the 65° angle found on the RSV4 street bike.
The 2016 Aprilia RS-GP is also said to be considerably lighter than its predecessor, likely right on the line of the FIM’s minimum weight requirement for MotoGP race bikes.
“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,” said Romano Albesiano.
“We are bringing home a lot of information and 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.”
The progress made by Aprilia Racing and Team Gresini is certainly a welcomed sight by riders Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl, who had to make do with a knife in a MotoGP gunfight. There is still much more work to be done with Aprilia’s MotoGP project, but the Italian effort is certainly looking more competitive for the start of 2016.
“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,” said Alvaro Bautista.
“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.”
“This test was really important as it was the first contact with the new bike,” added Stefan Bradl. “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.”
Source: Aprilia Racing