Alvaro Bautista doesn’t believe he has taken a huge risk by agreeing to spearheard Aprilia’s surprise early return to the MotoGP world championship in 2015.
Aprilia is returning to MotoGP with an official factory effort for the first time in over a decade after bringing forward its premier class 12 months to 2015.
This year will be a development year of a bike featuring pneumatic valve technology and seamless shift gearbox ahead of a brand new prototype being unveiled for 2016.
Bautista said the chance to work directly with a factory again was the most appealing aspect of the Aprilia option after he knocked back big interest from Forward Racing.
Speaking to MCN, the former 125GP world champion: “I think working directly with a factory is not a risk. You have the chance to improve and develop a bike with all the support of a factory behind you and I think Aprilia will do the maximum to have the best bike and I am not worried. I have good memories of Aprilia when I won the 125GP championship and I also I won a few races in 250s. So I trust them a lot.”
Bautista has previous factory experience in MotoGP having ridden for Suzuki in 2010 and ’11 and he explained why he had been so eager to work again directly with a factory after a three-year stint as a satellite Honda rider in the Gresini squad.
He added: “I wanted to work directly with a factory and for me this is is really important because all the development is done for you. Even if the bike is not the best at the beginning you have the chance to develop and to build a good bike. When I went to Suzuki the bike was not the best but in the end I was fighting for the top five and this shows that with the support of the factory you can make good results and development. In Suzuki I could work closely with the engineers and if I wanted one swingarm they could bring for me. But in Gresini you were given a bike and you had to find a set-up and that’s it and the bike doesn’t change at all.”
Asked what bike he expected to line-up on at the season opener in Qatar at the end of March, Bautista said: “I know they are making a completely new bike for 2016 but we will be developing the ART bike with some modifications like a new frame and the engine will be more powerful. It will be like a hybrid bike but in 2016 we will have a brand new bike.”