Aprilia's all-new RS-GP, the factory's 'first real MotoGP bike', made its track debut during a private shakedown at Aragon on Wednesday and Thursday.
The test was purely to check the operation of the machines that will now be flown to Qatar for a private test in the hands of race riders Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista, from February 21-23.
The Spanish shakedown was however not without drama, with test rider Mike di Meglio suffering an elbow fracture after a fall on day one, prompting others to take over on day two.
But the first impression was 'positive' and Aprilia are now looking forward to the next milestone.
“Well, first of all it was very exciting to finally be on the track after a lot of work,” said Aprilia Racing manager Romano Albesiano. “We started with a blank sheet to arrive at what is the first real MotoGP bike entirely conceived, designed and built by Aprilia in every one of its parts.
“The two days returned positive results, although it was actually a shakedown, so the purpose was first and foremost to check the correct operation of all the RS-GP 16 components. It's a shame about the crash that put Mike out of commission after the first day and we hope to have him back in the saddle soon.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us to improve the bike. Now it will be up to Bautista and Bradl to get the RS-GP 16 racing. The days ahead in Qatar will be another very important milestone.”
Due to its private Qatar test, Aprilia will not take part in the official Phillip Island test and thus next face its rivals during the final pre-season test at Losail from March 2-4.
Aprilia's 2002-2004 four-stroke MotoGP racer was powered by a Cosworth-designed engine, while the 2012-2015 machines were based on the company's RSV4 Superbike.