Alvaro Bautista: '2015 will be a test year'

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Alvaro Bautista has conceded that 2015 will primarily be a test and development campaign for Aprilia’s new MotoGP project.

The Spaniard got his first chance to assess the Noale factory’s new 1000cc contender in the first 2015 showdown immediately after the final round in Valencia earlier this month.

The Aprilia that Bautista and teammate Marco Melandri tested in Valencia didn’t feature a pneumatic valve motor, despite test rider Alex Hofmann using the new spec engine in a brief shakedown during the same test.

Bautista is expected to try the pneumatic valve motor in a second outing on the new bike in Jerez later this month.

But he said he is happy just to be part of a factory project again having spent three years as a satellite team rider for Gresini Honda.

Bautista last raced in a full factory effort with Suzuki back in 2011 and he said: "It's good to be back in a factory team. I worked with Suzuki some years ago and we did a good job and I hope to make the same job here in Aprilia. We trust in each other, although we know next year will be a difficult one because Suzuki have been out testing all year whereas Aprilia have done very little testing. So 2015 will be more of a test year."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt