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Old 03-06-2015, 05:06 AM   #1
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Aprilia unveils RSGP MotoGP race bike

2015 season will be devoted to developing the RSGP before revealing a real Aprilia prototype bike next year

APRILIA'S Ride Smart-GP 2015 MotoGP race bike has been officially unveiled by team riders Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri in Italy.

The Italian firm initially planned its return to the premier class of MotoGP for 2016 but has decided to start a year early, devoting this year to testing and development before unveiling a 'full factory' prototype machine next year.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia racing manager, said: 'We chose to move up our start date, getting into the mix in the 2015 MotoGP World Championship because we believe that this is the solution which is certainly the most risky but also the best one to become competitive as quickly as possible,

'We certainly could have avoided the pressure and waited until next year, but that’s not what Aprilia wanted.

“For us this will be a year of testing, development and in some ways even sacrifice, to be taken full advantage of as we look toward 2016 when we will be able to ride a real Aprilia prototype bike onto the track.'

Former 250cc world champion Marco Melandri and 2006 125cc champion Alvaro Bautista will spearhead the development program for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini.

Bautista said: 'We are well aware that we have a lot of work to do and we are also aware that this will be a season marked by development, so we aren't setting any goals for ourselves except to improve race by race, working hard. I was very pleased with the first two test sessions in Malaysia.'

Melandri added: 'We have a long road ahead of us, but I believe that with patience and determination we'll be able to achieve a good level, realistically in the second half of the season.'
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