Aprilia's World Superbike plans still look to be going to plan after Alex Hofmann revealed that testing aboard the new RSV-4 is continuing to go well.

Aprilia unveiled their plans to return to the World Superbike arena last year, but have since been coy about the progress of the new bike. Indeed, there has been no formal announcement that they are even planning to go racing next year.

Nonetheless, despite the apparent reluctance to give more information away, Aprilia test rider Hofmann has been rather more forthcoming.

Continuing to put miles on the rakish-looking machine, the German has most recently been testing around the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic. While he didn't enclose any specific lap times, Hofmann is optimistic the team is heading in the right direction.

"Better notices from Brno," the former MotoGP rider wrote on his personal website. "We had a test there last week and made a good step forward with the all new Aprilia RSV-4.

"We improved the feeling on the bike and found some better set-ups for all the new parts. Lap times improved too but I won't give any numbers here and now. Everyone in the team was pleased with the work we got done and I hope we can keep going in that good direction."

Aprilia last competed in the World Superbike Championship in 2002, after which it withdrew to concentrate on its ill-fated MotoGP operation. Up that point, Aprilia managed eight WSBK wins, eight pole positions and 26 podiums - but never lifted a world title.



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