Max Biaggi has revealed that morale in the Aprilia World Superbike team isn't high after a disappointing pre-season test at Portimao that left him and team-mate Shinya Nakano in the lower reaches of the top twenty.
After an encouraging performance at Kyalami towards the end of last year, Aprilia had hoped to forge their way further into the top ten in Portugal, but were instead beset by a series of problems.
Despite it being his first time at Portimao, Nakano proved slightly quicker than Biaggi, although he was still only good enough to be 17th out of 27 riders, with a lap time of 1min 45.179secs, almost two seconds down on the leaders.
Coupled to the dismal weather conditions, both Biaggi and Nakano admit the test wasn't as productive as they had hoped, while the Italian adds that the weekend has taken a toll on the team as a whole.
“I came here confident of making improvements from the last test, but unfortunately we discovered other small problems that we hadn't been expecting. We don't go away with high morale, but our engineers have been able to garner plenty of information that will help them to find new solutions to resolve these problems. At the last corner I had a bad fall, but luckily I was okay and only suffered a few bruises.”
By comparison, Nakano was rather more positive about the RSV-4, adding that they have a good base from which to work from as the start of the new season approaches.
“We had expected to improve a lot during these three days of testing, but the changeable weather conditions didn't enable us to try out a lot of things, and add to that the fact that I didn't know the circuit at all, and it made everything rather difficult.
“We uncovered a few new small problems with the bike, but now we have a good starting base to work from, and we've found the right path to follow to improve and develop the RSV4.”