Aprilia has unveiled its RS-GP MotoGP bike ahead of the 2016 season. Breaking cover at the the official pre-season test at Losail, the Italian bike is a new design from the ground up, building on the “laboratory-season” of on-track sessions conducted by its riders learnt during last year.
The team states that its new bike is ‘already a milestone’ in its history, as it is the first true MotoGP bike, which has been entirely designed, developed and built by Aprilia – including the bike’s narrow-angle V4 engine. This is complimented by a brand new technical package, a new tire supplier in Michelin, and the series’ controlled electronics package.
“From a Group strategy point of view, Aprilia Racing is not just the Aprilia racing team: it is the most advanced technological experimentation and development platform for the entire Piaggio Group from which all of our products and brands benefit,” explained Roberto Colaninno, CEO and managing director of the Piaggio Group. “For this reason, from this 2016 season the Piaggio Group logo stands out prominently on the bikes’ livery. In fact, the technology developed for racing operations is not intended only for racing, but it also serves the purpose of testing innovative solutions that will then be applied to road-legal products, from supersport bikes all the way to scooters, with the end goal of improving our products in terms of performance, safety and the ability to provide our customers with riding pleasure and fun”.
With 104 World Championships in its collection (54 Aprilia, 15 Moto Guzzi, 21 Derbi, 14 Gilera) the Piaggio Group is the most victorious motorcycle group of all times.
“The upcoming season will be a very important one for us”, said Aprilia Racing manager, Romano Albesiano. “The new bike reflects recent Aprilia Racing tradition, reinterpreting every concept without compromise, and it is the most ambitious project our racing department has ever undertaken. The first responses from testing have been positive. We received very positive feedback from both riders specifically from a dynamics point of view. In any case, this is the beginning of a long path and we are well aware of the inevitable difficulties that come along with any new project.”
“The first contact with the new bike was definitely positive, despite the fact that it’s still too early to take a position,” added factory-rider Stefan Bradl. “The Aprilia Racing techs did a great job in the right direction. Now our job will be to explore the potential of the RS-GP lap after lap. We really have a lot on our plate, but we also have a wide margin for improvement. Along with the new bike, we also have the new electronics and tyres, aspects that we had already begun working on but that still require a lot of development. We won’t be bored, that much is certain. For the first time in my career I’m working on an official team with the job of developing a new project. I think that this is the greatest condition possible for a rider who wants to set his sights on staying out front.”