2016 Aprilia MotoGP Team Riders Announced
Following a successful return to MotoGP in 2015, the Aprilia Racing team returns in 2016 MotoGP with a new two-rider lineup – Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.
Bautista already knows the Aprilia RS-GP well following the 2015 MotoGP Championship, where (as of this writing) the Spaniard earned a best finish of 10th. Bautista will be joined by the 2011 Moto2 Champion Bradl, who replaces the vacancy left by the fleeing Marco Melandri.
The 25-year-old German debuted in World Championship motorcycle racing in the former 125cc class in 2005. In 2008, Bradl earned two wins, finishing fourth overall in the 125cc class. In 2010, he moved to Moto2; he was crowned champion in 2011 after earning four wins. He moved to MotoGP in 2012, earning a career best of second during the 2013 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Also, the Brit Sam Lowes, who will compete in 2016 Moto2 with Team Gresini, will help develop the Aprilia MotoGP RS-GP prototype. This will lay the ground work for Lowes as he prepares to compete with Aprilia in 2017 MotoGP.
“I am really thankful for the great opportunity that Aprilia Racing Team Gresini gave me in the second half of the season. 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,” Stefan Bradl.
“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 ten contender for 2016. This must be our goal.”
Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager, says: “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. 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. In this 2015 season Alvaro is providing a fundamental contribution to development of the RS-GP. With Alvaro and Stefan we have two excellent riders on our team with the right skills, professionalism and motivation to grow the Aprilia MotoGP project. For the work that will be done at Noale and by the test team we’ll also be able to count on the contribution of a fast young rider like Sam Lowes who, along with his commitment in the Moto2 championship, will be working as our official tester.”
Aprilia Racing Team Manager Fausto Gresini also commented: “I’m pleased that Stefan will be staying with us next season. He has contributed a lot to Aprilia Racing and the entire team in developing our MotoGP project. The work he is doing now is important and it will be even more important next season when we’ll have a completely new bike to develop. This makes up a great team, with Bradl and Bautista, fast riders, young but with a lot of MotoGP experience, both able to drive the entire team to find the best possible performance.”