APRILIA EXPLORES THE RED BULL RING
TWO DAYS OF TESTS FOR BAUTISTA, LOWES AND DI MEGLIO ON THE NEW AUSTRIAN CIRCUIT
The MotoGP riders had a chance to discover the Austrian Red Bull Ring circuit, one of the new additions to the 2016 calendar. Characterised by hard braking, fast acceleration and steep slope changes, the new track will host the next round on the weekend of 14 August.
Only Alvaro Bautista was on the track for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, whereas his teammate, Stefan Bradl, is still recovering after his crash during the warm-up session at the Sachsenring last weekend.
Two more RS-GP machines available to the Aprilia Test Team were ridden by tester Mike Di Meglio and Sam Lowes, the English rider currently on the Gresini Moto2 Team, on his second time out with the Italian MotoGP bike that he will ride next season. Sam is continuing his apprenticeship on the RS-GP that began recently in Misano, completing 58 laps on the first day of testing.
Bautista focused on preparatory tests for the race, therefore working on the chassis and electronics setup, in addition to tyre choice. The Austrian track proved to be rather particular straight away. There are a lot of blind corners and the braking and acceleration sections become extremely important, just as much as engine performance that is put to the test on the long, uphill straight stretches. Alvaro also conducted some comparative tests with a new type of front wing and the lighter swingarm that had already been tested at the Sachsenring, two elements that will require further evaluation.
The results in terms of times were satisfactory, with Alvaro taking 166 laps over the course of the two days.