Aprilia is working on a new seamless shift gearbox ahead of its factory return to the MotoGP world championship in 2015.
But Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano has said he can’t give any cast iron assurance that the new transmission will be ready for Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri to race when next year’s campaign gets underway in Qatar on March 29.
Seamless shift gearbox technology is now common in MotoGP ever since Honda first introduced the transmission back in 2011.
Yamaha and Ducati also use a seamless shift gearbox and Aprilia and Suzuki, who will be back with official entries in 2015, are developing systems to be raced as soon as possible.
But Albesiano told MCN: “We don’t have a seamless shift gearbox at the moment. We are testing it and it is not ready yet. It is promising but it is not ready yet for testing with the riders.”
Asked whether the new gearbox would be ready in time for the floodlit season opener in Doha, Albesiano added: “That depends on how the tests will go and if everything is OK then maybe. But I can’t guarantee that.”
Bautista and Melandri completed a second test on the new Aprilia in Jerez this week where both evaluated a more powerful pneumatic valve motor.
They will be back on track when the 2015 pre-season continues in Malaysia on February 4.