Aprilia has confirmed that its seamless shift gearbox, hailed as a great success during its race team debut at the Jerez test, will not be ready for this weekend's French MotoGP.

Nevertheless Alvaro Bautista, who used the new gearbox, is confident of scoring points for what would be the third time in this year's five events to date.

"In the tests on Monday I was able to try the new seamless gearbox for the first time. It's a shame we won't have it already for Le Mans because it is already at a great level, but I'm confident that even with the current version of our bike we'll be able to do well this weekend," Bautista said.

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Bautista took his most recent MotoGP podium with third for the Gresini team, then using Honda machinery, at Le Mans last year.

"I have great memories of last year's race where I took the third step of the podium. The goal this round is the same as the previous races: to keep reducing the gap behind the other riders that are ahead of us and to be as competitive as possible.

"The track has a lot of direction changes, so we'll be working hard to obtain an agile and easy to ride bike. For the rest we'll try to stay as focused as possible in order to be ready for any conditions since weather conditions often change quickly here at Le Mans.

"The second championship point earned at Jerez provides great motivation for the entire team. We're ready to work hard."

Aprilia will hope to have the seamless gearbox ready for a race debut at their home Italian round at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, Bautista's struggling team-mate Marco Melandri is targeting his first points of the year this Sunday. The Italian also took his most recent MotoGP podium at Le Mans, while riding the Hayate (Kawasaki) in 2009.

"The Le Mans track is quite particularly, but I've always liked it," he said. "In fact, every time I've raced here I've done well. In this round it would be nice to try and get into the points. I think this is a realistic goal within our reach whilst waiting for important technical changes that will allow me to take more significant steps forward.

"The weather forecast seems pretty good so, as always, we'll be working as hard as we can and taking the weekend one day at a time, ready to take advantage of every opportunity."