The new Aprilia four-stroke MotoGP bike got it's first outing last week at Jerez. Rider Regis Laconi took the 990cc bike around the Spanish Circuit for it's initial run-down, in an attempt to transform the machine into a serious challenger.

Laconi took to the track a day before the new Aprilia, riding the Superbike which he competed on last season. The Frenchman had a chance to reacquaint himself with being on two wheels after a three month break from riding, and revise the circuit before the hard work really began.

"I'm happy at the moment, because I went to Superbike to learn the four-stroke and now I'm back in MotoGP with one of the new four-stroke bikes." Laconi explained to the official MotoGP website. "I am for sure very pleased to come back, and especially with Aprilia because we have a great bike, and that's most important for me. It is important now to do lots of good work at this test and make this bike very good for Aprilia."

The 250cc class Aprilias were out on track as well with riders Fonsi Nieto and Toni Elias putting in the laps. With team manager Jorge Martinez at hand and the full support of the factory, the test was useful and offered areas for development. Neito appreciates the work which must go in to the team for them to be successful: "There's lots of things I like [on the new bike] and some I don't, we're working really hard, especially on the chassis." He said. "I think this year everything is there for us to see on paper, and with hard work, we can win."

Also in the 250cc class were Roberto Locatelli, David Checa, Casey Stoner, Dirk Heidolf and Alex Hoffmann who were all preparing for the season starter in April. Most Aprilia 125cc riders attended the test and enjoyed a good stint on the track.



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