Aprilia: the ones to watch?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Motogp Preview -

Suzuki aren’t the only man­u­fac­turer to have a new and im­proved ma­chine for 2016, with Aprilia fi­nally rolling out their brand new RS-GP ma­chine at the fi­nal test of the win­ter at Qatar.

A brand new bike built from the ground up as a Mo­togp pro­to­type, the ma­chine is wholly dif­fer­ent from the one Stefan Bradl and Al­varo Bautista rode in 2015 – which was es­sen­tially a heav­ily mod­i­fied for­mer CRT en­try RSV4 World Su­per­bike ma­chine.

For 2016 they’ll have a full fac­tory race bike, built in-house by a team of 70 and the cul­mi­na­tion of Aprilia’s most am­bi­tious pro­ject ever, ac­cord­ing to rac­ing man­ager Ro­mano Albe­siano.

“The first re­sponses from test­ing have been pos­i­tive. We re­ceived very pos­i­tive feed­back from both rid­ers specif­i­cally from a team dy­nam­ics

Elec­tron­ics

Al­most counter-in­tu­itively, the lack of de­vel­op­ment Suzuki man­aged on their own in-house elec­tron­ics last year has turned to their ad­van­tage for 2016 with the switch to con­trol soft­ware. Al­ready work­ing with a sys­tem nowhere near as ad­vanced as that of their ri­vals, it’s meant that the tran­si­tion to the new soft­ware (which Valentino Rossi has com­pared to 2009-spec Yamaha elec­tron­ics) has been much less steep for Suzuki, al­low­ing them to make up

the dif­fer­ence quickly.

En­gine

Pos­si­bly the rev­e­la­tion of 2016 pre-sea­son test­ing is the huge leap Suzuki have made with the GSX-RR’S en­gine. Widely ac­cepted last year to be 30-40bhp down on Honda and Yamaha (never mind the ul­tra-pow­er­ful Du­cati), they’ve played catch-up over the win­ter. Even Viñales

him­self was blown away at Phillip Is­land, af­ter get­ting a chance to taste the new speed when he ended up in the slip­stream of Rossi, telling MCN af­ter­wards that it was the first time he’d felt able to pass an­other fac­tory bike on a straight. It’ll be cru­cial at the ul­tra-fast open­ing round at Qatar and its long straights – but if Viñales’ pace in test­ing is any­thing to go by, Suzuki

will be laugh­ing.

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