Sam Lowes continues Aprilia graduation program towards MotoGP 2017 with laps at Misano
Moto2 rider Sam Lowes continued his learning curve towards his graduation to Aprilia’s MotoGP program by joining current Aprilia MotoGP incumbents Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl for a two-day test at Misano.
Lowes and current Aprilia test rider Mike di Meglio rode development Aprilia RS-GP machines.
No times were released by Aprilia, who used the two-days to prepare for the race that will be held on the circuit in Emilia Romagna on the weekend of 11 September.
Sam Lowes – 135 laps
“For me this was a very good test, because we got to the point of also starting to do some tests, beyond simply getting to know the Aprilia RS-GP. For me it is never easy to get off the Moto2 bike and get on the MotoGP machine. The first day I tend to take some less than perfect lines for the way these bikes should be ridden, but the second day, even looking at the telemetry, I get close to the style of the other riders. At the end of the day the gap is not bad at all. The potential of the bike is definitely high and I am more and more happy to be part of this project”.
In the many laps taken in good conditions, the work in the two garages followed rather different paths. Bautista and Bradl conducted tests in preparation for the GP on all fronts: chassis, electronics and tyres. The riders felt out the possibilities offered by a few new Michelin options, in parallel with setup tests aimed at tackling the 28 laps of the San Marino Grand Prix.
For Sam Lowes, the two days at Misano are part of his gradual approach to the Aprilia RS-GP bike that he will be riding next year. The English rider improved his feeling consistently, approaching a bike that is decidedly different from the Moto2 machine he rides now, currently lying third in his category.
Mike di Meglio conducted a testing programme that dealt with the transmission (gearbox and clutch) and the cooling system, as well as the many electronics and settings management. Some of the new features and changed decided during the two days of tests will be available already for the next race at Silverstone.
Alvaro Bautista – 121 laps
“These were two rather physically demanding days after the two races in a row. In any case, we did a great job, starting from checks on a swingarm that we had already tested but that needed further verification. We made some changes on the chassis and the setup, both for the race on this circuit and for other tracks, gathering a lot of information that we will analyse thoroughly now. We also tested two new front tyres from Michelin, giving the techs some good indications. Overall there were some positive responses and some not so positive, but after each test we definitely have a clearer idea of which way to go in development. Now we’ll have a week of well-deserved rest and then we’ll be back on the track at Silverstone”.
Stefan Bradl – 117 laps
“We can consider ourselves satisfied with this test. We had many things to try, especially with the chassis, that allowed us to improve the RS-GP, particularly in terms of stability in braking. Yesterday and today we put together a good number of laps with rather satisfying times. We were able to take some steps forward and I am sure that the tests from these two days will be very helpful for the coming races”.