Nakano makes impressive progress.

Former 250, 500 and MotoGP star Shinya Nakano claimed a fourth place finish in only his second WSBK event, in Qatar race one on Saturday.

While team-mate Max Biaggi grabbed the Aprilia headlines with a double podium at Losail, rookie Nakano showed excellent potential by finishing one place behind the Roman in the first outing.

''I am satisfied,” said Nakano after race one. “It is only my second WSBK event and already I've got a good result. I got away well at the start and remained in the lead group for the first half of the race, then they broke away so I just concentrated on defending my fourth position. Checa finally overtook me during the last few turns, but he made a mistake and I was able to get the place back.”

The second race saw Nakano once again get a good start, only to lose ground after contact. A fight-back brought the Japanese up to sixth, but the position was snatched from him by Alstare Suzuki's Max Neukirchner right at the line.

Nevertheless, Nakano finished an improved 9.5sec behind race winner Ben Spies - compared with 12sec in race one - and was also two seconds closer to team-mate Biaggi.

''I got a good start again but after a few corners I made contact with another rider and lost ground,” explained Shinya, who had qualified in sixth. “I had to push very hard to recover. I managed to get up to sixth place, but I had lost touch with the leaders.

“Towards the end Neukirchner caught up with me and we had a duel right to the line, which he won by just a few centimeters. But it's been an excellent weekend, we have improved a lot since Phillip Island and Biaggi showed the potential of the RSV4.

“Now we go to Valencia, where I made my debut on the bike, although the bike has changed so much since then that I don't think I'll have much of an advantage.”

Nakano had finished 15th and 12th on his WSBK debut at Phillip Island.

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Nakano, Neukirchner, over the finish line, Qatar WSBK Race 2 2009
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ThirtyInANinety - Unregistered

March 15, 2009 11:23 AM

Great Morale/confidence boost for both Shinya/Max and the Aprilia team. Results (points) so early in the RSV4's development can only be a good sign? Two rounds in and already the racing is proving that WSB is shaping up to be "the" championship for action. Just hope MotoGP hasn't lost it's edge...

yesindeed - Unregistered

March 15, 2009 2:54 PM

Aprilia has succeeded in formulating a strategy that is producing outstanding reliability and points production even during the initial phases of the bike's development. they have, in Nakano and Biaggi, two pilots with proven racecraft and bike development,and is it ever paying dividends.It's no small feat to outpace a company with as much motor racing DNA as BMW, but Aprilia are doing just that, even while BMW are themselves coming to terms with WSBK remarkably fast.As an ardent motor racing and motorcycling enthusiast, I'm very impressed, and have every intention to have a better look at owning an Aprilia, all becaue of this effort, and I'd wager I'm not the only one. Well done, Aprilia

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