News 23 Sep 2015

Bradl remains alongside Bautista at Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Sam Lowes named official test rider on RS-GP project.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini has re-signed Stefan Bradl alongside Alvaro Bautista for the complete 2016 MotoGP World Championship, the Italian manufacturer has announced.

Former Moto2 World Champion Bradl was drafted into the team mid-season following Marco Melandri’s departure, when his previous Forward Racing outfit struck trouble prior to Indianapolis.

“I am really thankful for the great opportunity that Aprilia Racing Team Gresini gave me in the second half of the season,” Bradl explained. “I would like to thank Romano Albesiano and Fausto Gresini for believing in me. At my first grand prix with Aprilia in Indianapolis, I immediately felt really welcome by the whole team.

“I cannot really describe how professional everybody works in the team; I can say without a doubt that Aprilia is the best team I have raced with since starting my world championship career. I have great support from my technical crew – I could tell from the first day that they really believe in me and I like the way they prepare and plan every session.

“Signing for 2016 gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming races and it is great motivation to prepare for next season as best as possible. I know Aprilia has high expectations and I am confident that we have what it takes to be a consistent top 10 contender for 2016. This must be our goal.”

Aprilia Racing manager Romano Albesiano said the decision to extend Bradl’s agreement alongside Bautista came as a natural one following his progression on board the RS-GP in the season’s second half.

“Stefan Bradl came on board almost by chance, a result of the circumstances, but his change in bikes this season was a pleasant surprise for me,” he explained. “From the very start we found him to be a methodical and fast rider, extremely precise in his comments and therefore particularly suited for the delicate role of ‘race tester’ that our rookie season requires.

“Precisely for this reason we wanted to continue working with him and now it’s official. Stefan will work alongside Alvaro Bautista, who will be in his second year with Aprilia and is providing a fundamental contribution to development of the RS-GP. We have two excellent riders on our team with the right skills, professionalism and motivation to grow the Aprilia MotoGP project.”

Next season Sam Lowes will also be participating in development of the Aprilia MotoGP prototype as a test rider, also campaigning the Moto2 World Championship with the Gresini team before a planned transition to MotoGP in 2017.