Max Biaggi is taking on the many positives from his first World Superbike weekend with the Aprilia team after their final results at Phillip Island didn't match their race pace.

On paper, a brace of finishes just outside the top ten - 11th, 12th, 15th and 15th - for the Italian team, hints at a tough weekend, but it was a few costly errors that prevented them from capitalising on their impressive performances in the race.

With Biaggi making the headlines in Superpole with a run to second place on the grid, the Italian was confident for the first race but was caught out heading into turn two by a 'nervous' RSV-4 and ran wide, dropping him down onto the edge of the top ten and eventually into 11th place.

A change of set-up for the second race, most notably softer tyres, would transform the bike in the early stages, Biaggi running inside the top three for the majority of the race and matching the pace of the leaders.

However, as Biaggi expected, his tyres would fade during the closing stages and he'd fall into the clutches of the pack directly behind. Falling to sixth at the start of the final lap, Biaggi's misery was compounded when he was forced to sit up in avoidance of two riders coming into contact ahead, sending him across the gravel and even into the barriers.

Getting going again to finish 15th and score a solitary point, Biaggi believes that he deserved more, but was also to console himself with the knowledge that Aprilia are matching their rivals already.

"I'm quite satisfied," he said. "We had a good race, using a different, softer tyre, risking a lot and knowing that it would only last for half of the race. In fact, during the last ten laps, the tyres were worn out and I did everything I could to fight for a place atop the podium up until the very end.

"During the last lap, at the Siberia curve, the two who were in front of me made contact and they took some strange trajectories. I sped up so I wouldn't hit them, but I had to brake and I ended up in the gravel. There's not much space there and I stopped on the tire barrier. Fortunately I managed to keep the motorcycle running, re-enter and finish the race, taking home at least one point, even though I certainly deserved more.

"We still have some problems to resolve, but I don't exclude the possibility that it may occur quickly. I would like to see how the bike handles when it will be 100%, considering its potential, but I have a lot of faith in Aprilia technicians, and it was also for this reason that I decided to return here after so many years."

After a decent turn during free practice and qualifying, Shinya Nakano found things somewhat tougher during the races. Finishing 15th in the first race, Nakano started well in the second race to be running as high as sixth, but dropped to an eventual 12th after struggling with chatter.

"I started off well, arriving in sixth position," said Nakano. "We mounted another tire and the chattering diminished significantly. Halfway through the race, the tyres were worn down and I couldn't push as much as at the beginning, so I slipped back into twelfth place.

"We must improve the engine set because when the grip decreases, it becomes difficult to handle the motorcycle's power. The positive aspect is that when the feeling is good, I can say in the lead to battle it out for first place."



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