Aprilia continues to grow and the triple-header proved this. Bautista crossed the line 7th in Japan (Bradl 10th) and in Malaysia, at Phillip Island Stefan qualified 8th, the best ever result for the RS-GP. At Sepang, Romano Albesiano was also back in the garage, after having missed the two previous GPs.
“The triple-header means being away from the company for a month and right now that would be difficult for me - explains the Racing Manager for the Noale-based company - My role also involves planning activities and that's what I was doing during my absence from the races, organising race activity for the next two years".
2017 is almost upon us, when will we see the new bike?
“Not at Valencia, as I prefer the new riders, Aleix Espargarò and Sam Lowes, to use the current GP-RS during those tests. Also based on Aleix's considerations, we'll make the final touches to the new bike which will make its debut in January, during a private test”.
Should we expect great changes?
“It will be an evolution of the current bike, with some innovation”.
Where in particular are you working?
“The RS-GP is well-balanced and doesn't have any particular weak point, so we're trying to optimise all aspects. The riders are asking us to improve the bike's turning ability”.
With the current MotoGP bikes, are you still looking for more power?
“In the early ’90s the 500s had 180 hp and that already seemed enough, current MotoGPs have around one hundred more but it's never enough. The more you have, the better it is”.
Neither Bautista nor Bradl will ride the new bike, why this cut with the recent past?
“We need a rider that can bring us information about other bikes and Aleix can provide us that. Alvaro and Stefan are having a great end to their season, they'll be leaving us and I'm sorry about that but unfortunately we don't have four bikes”.
Do you aim to double the number of bikes you have in MotoGP?
“Not right now, I'd like to have just two bikes and win the title (he laughs). Joking aside, I know it would help us with development and with a satellite team we could help young riders to develop, but it's not in our plans for now".
Aprilia has a great history in the 'small' classes, have you never considered the Moto3?
(Albesiano thinks carefully before answering) “No, we're focused on MotoGP right now and next year we'll also increase our commitment in SBK”.