Last season, Alvaro Bautista rode on one of the best looking motorcycles on the MotoGP grid, the Suzuki GSV-R in Rizla powder blue livery by Troy Lee Designs. This season, Bautista is riding the Gresini Honda RC213V, but instead of its previous white paint job, the Gresini machine is in a sleek black.
No reason for the color change was announced, though it’s possible the choice is a sign of mourning for the late Marco Simoncelli whose place Bautista is assuming with Gresini. Indeed, Simoncelli was on many people’s minds during Gresini’s presentation in Milan.
“Technology and Passion is a perfect combination that continues to drive forward our project together with Team Gresini. A new season starts right here in the Milan Polytechnic and we are proud to be continuing with a project that has already provided us with so much excitement over the past few years,” says Alberto Vitaloni, president of team sponsor San Carlo. “We were determined to continue in the name of Marco (Simoncelli) because we are sure that this is what he would want and I hope the choice we have made continues to bring great success.”
Also racing in black is Bautista’s teammate Michele Pirro, but instead of the RC213V prototype, Pirro will be racing on a CRT machine featuring an FTR frame around an engine based on the Honda CBR1000RR powerplant tuned by Ten Kate (pictured above).
Staying in the team’s traditional white color is Niccolò Antonelli in Moto3. Antonelli will race on a Honda NSF250R.