WSBK »

Nakano finds his feet with Aprilia.

Shinya Nakano and Aprilia hinted at their World Superbike potential during testing at Valencia this week as they set an encouraging pace with the new RSV-4.

Nakano, who will race alongside Max Biaggi in the series next year, was out on the bike for the first time as he looks to acclimatise to larger capacity, but heavier, machinery before the start of the new season.

Despite having just two days on the machine though, which is still in the early stages of development, Nakano produced a best lap of 1min 35.3secs.

That is already just three tenths down on the Valencia race lap record, held by Neil Hodgson from back in 2003, although Max Neukirchner remains comfortably the quickest rider to have graced the circuit with his 1min 33.805secs Superpole lap in 2008.

Nonetheless, Nakano insists lap times weren't his priority as he makes the substantial step from a Gresini Honda MotoGP bike to the Aprilia Superbike, the Japanese rider stating that he is pleased with the first impressions with the team as a whole.

"Here it was my aim to establish a good feeling with the bike" he said. "At the start it was difficult because the RSV4 has different characteristics to a MotoGP bike. We managed to get the right set-up after doing a lot of laps and I felt a lot better on the bike, so I was starting to enjoy it more.

“For the moment we have been searching for a good base set-up and we have managed to find it. There's still a lot of work to do in particular with the electronics and the engine braking but we've still got plenty of time to sort things out.

“I am very pleased with these two days of testing, the level of the engineers is really very high and I've already established an excellent feeling with my team, I'm sure we're going to work well together.”

Joined in the test by 250GP Champion Marco Simoncelli and test rider Alex Hofmann, Nakano was comfortably the quickest of the three.

Still, Simoncelli's effort of 1min 36.3secs comes after his first outing on the bike, while Hofmann, who was a further second slower, was back on the bike for the first time in four months following an injury.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nakano, Valencia WSBK Test 2008
Eugene Laverty Aprilia Jerez Test
Stefan Bradl, Honda, World Superbikes [Credit: Honda WSBK]
Aprilia garage, Malaysian WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, Shaina Salvia, World Superbike
Savadori`s Aprilia, Australian WSBK 2016. Photo: WorldSBK
De Angelis` Aprilia, Australian WSBK 2016. Photo: WorldSBK
Kawasaki World Superbike launch 2016
Kawasaki World Superbike launch 2016
Kawasaki World Superbike launch 2016
Kawasaki World Superbike Launch
Althea BMW, World Superbikes [Credit: Althea BMW]
Althea BMW, World Superbikes [Credit: Althea BMW]
Karel Abraham, Milwaukee BMW, World Superbike [Credit: Bonnie Lane]
Team Aprilia, Qatar WSBK 2015
Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing boss, Misano WSBK 2015
Max Biaggi (ITA), Aprilia, World Superbike [Credit: Aprilia]
Tom Sykes (GBR), World Superbike [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Ngoli Desmodromic - Unregistered

November 28, 2008 11:17 PM

Very encouraging indeed,but mysterious . . . Aprilia have hired 2 very GP oriented riders with similar smooth high corner speed styles,perhaps and eventual iteration of the bike will have 200cc les and pneumatic valves,weigh less and have a revised electronics package and be campaigning against the MotoGP 800s !!?



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.