ALVARO BAUTISTA SEVENTH AND STEFAN BRADL TENTH, CONFIRMING THE RS-GP'S PROGRESS
In the race that decided the 2016 World Championship, Aprilia has plenty to be satisfied about. Alvaro Bautista, fast and precise for all 23 laps, took a nice seventh place (his best result of the season) 23 seconds from the leader. Tenth place for Stefan Bradl after a small mistake in the finale kept him from making a go for ninth and eighth place.
Overall, the Japanese weekend confirmed the Italian team's excellent form. Fast in qualifying and consistent in the race, the season finale promises to be positive for both Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders. Alvaro Bautista got off the line well when the lights went out from his twelfth spot on the grid, overtaking Redding and Petrucci in succession. From the tenth lap, Alvaro kept the gap behind Pol Espargaró constant without making any mistakes and consistently lapping at 1'47. When the chequered flag came out, the gap behind the winner, Marquez, was 23 seconds, whereas the gap behind the fifth place finisher was reduced to 8 seconds.
Stefan Bradl also had a positive performance, skilfully recovering after a less than perfect start, coming back to take tenth place. The German also had the potential for a better placement, but a mistake in the penultimate lap made him lose contact with eighth and ninth place, positions that were within his grasp up to that point.