The Aprilia Gresini Racing Team had looked set to debut the new 2016 Aprilia in Sepang, but have chosen to move the reveal.
In 2015 it was all about gathering data for Aprilia as they made their return to the MotoGP™ World Championship as an official manufacturer. From the beginning the Noale based factory knew they would prepare a new bike from the ground up for the 2016 season. Many had expected this new version of the bike to be introduced at the Sepang test on the first of February, but Aprilia have chosen to debut the new bike in private.
Both Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl will be at the Sepang test with the laboratory RS-GP, the pair getting their first taste of the new Aprilia in a private Qatar test. This test will take place as the rest of the MotoGP™ paddock head to Phillip Island for the second official pre-season test. Aprilia will then join the rest of the grid in Qatar for the test ahead of the season opener on the 20th of March.
Aprilia have chosen this revised testing schedule as they feel testing the new machine twice on the same track, Losail, will be beneficial. 2016 will see Aprilia able to utilize nine engines available and unlimited testing as they scored less than six concession points in 2015. These concessions will enable the factory to develop throughout the year with the aim of challenging further towards the front.
Work has been consistently going on behind the scenes for Aprilia as Mike Di Meglio has had multiple outings to test electronics and tyres. Most recently the 2008 125cc Champion was in Valencia on the 17th and 18th of January focusing on the new Magneti Marelli electronics. The Frenchman has a test scheduled for the 10th and 11th of February in Aragon where it is expected he will run an early shakedown of the new bike.