Aprilia Racing team manager Romano Albesiano has labelled the new pneumatic valve V4 engine as 'very promising' after it was given its first trial during testing in Jerez.

The Italian firm joined Ducati and Forward Yamaha, as well as a number of WSBK teams, in testing around the Spanish circuit for three days, giving the V4 engine its maiden outing on the second day having focused on electronics on the first day.

It meant Aprilia was able to directly compare the new engine with its predecessor, with Alvaro Bautista going half a second faster out of the box on Wednesday. Rainy conditions on the Thursday would scupper any chance of going quicker however.

Nonetheless, by the end of the test Bautista had managed a best lap of 1min 40.6secs, while Marco Melandri - who is still adapting to the Bridgestone tyres - turned in a best lap of 1min 41.5secs. For reference, Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest rider on track over the course of the test with a 1min 38.9secs.

"Despite the bad weather, we have gathered a lot of information - mostly positive," Albesiano. "This was the first opportunity for extensive use of the pneumatic valve engine, which has proven very promising in terms of maximum power and manageability. Despite this, there remains a lot of work in terms of mapping settings.

"Alvaro continued to adapt to the Aprilia in a positive fashion but, as is always the case, there is still room for improvement. As for Marco, he continued his apprenticeship with the Bridgestone tyres - a rather complex issue over these days and something we will continue to look into when we get to Sepang."



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