Tuesday, August 18


The Brno round of the MotoGP Championship on Sunday saw both Aprilia RS-GP machines score world championship points.  It was the first time this year that this has happened.

At the chequered flag, Spaniard Alvaro Bautista came home 13th, just in front of German rider Stefan Bradl who was having just his second ride for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini since departing from the faltering Forward Racing Yamaha team.

Alvaro Bautista on his way to 13th place at the Czech GP
Bautista had completed the first lap running in 22nd place but he recovered with each lap, clocking lap times that would have kept him just behind the top ten.

Bradl was pleased with the result.  Riding an outstanding race, the German gave up a position in the final stages of the race to his team-mate, who had a better pace.  The wrist injury he sustained earlier in the season did not help Bradl's performance, especially in the final laps.  His goal is still to find a more consistent race pace after showing that he has the speed he needs in qualifying.

Bradly replaced Italian Marco Melandri, who struggled to get off the last row of the grid in qualifying and did not score a single world championship point in nine races for the team.

Team manager Fausto Gressini was delighted to see both his riders finishing in the points in the Aprilia's debut season.

"It's nice to watch races like this one, where both our riders were fast with a gap behind the top ten that was quite small at the finish line.  It was just a shame about the time Alvaro lost at the beginning of the race due to contact with another rider, otherwise he could have brought home an even better result.”

Bautista said it was a hard but fun race.

"I had a good start, but on the first lap I lost the advantage I had gained," he said.  "So I set my pace.  At the beginning I was struggling a bit to stop the bike but lap after lap the situation improved.  I had a lot of riders in front of me and that complicated matters. I enjoyed overtaking but the fact that I had the pace to make a play for eleventh place leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Our work keeps going. Even during the warmup a small change helped me to find more feeling with the bike over race distance. I would like to thank my team for all of their help on such a demanding weekend.”

Bradl said his goal at Brno was to be faster in the race than he had been at Indianapolis and he achieved that.

"it was fun battling with Bautista," he said.   "I was able to stay ahead of him for quite a few laps and then toward the end he managed to overtake me with a clean move: he earned the spot ahead of me.  The team is working well and I hope we'll be able to continue like this to further improve our race performance.  In qualifiers I am able to get the most out of the bike for a few flying laps, but our priority is still to improve race performance.  Today we took a step forward - even if the bike became more difficult to ride in the second half of the race.  In the last two laps I was also feeling pain in my injured wrist, but despite everything we managed to bring home a nice result.”
Stefan Bradl getting down to it on the Aprilia V4.