Nakano tests Aprilia RSV4

250cc GP Champ Simoncelli invited to session

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Nov. 26, 2008
World Superbike rider Shinya Nakano has completed his first official test on the new Aprilia RSV4.

Nakano completed 141 laps over two days of testing at Spain’s Valencia circuit. Nakano logged 72 laps on Nov. 24 with a best time of 1:36.4 and another 69 laps on Nov. 25 where he improved to a best time of 1:35.3.

“Here it was my aim to establish a good feeling with the bike,” says Nakano, who joins Aprilia’s factory team after ten seasons on the Grand Prix tour. “And at the start it was difficult because the RSV4 has different characteristics to a MotoGP bike. We managed to get the right set-up after doing a lot of laps and today I felt a lot better on the bike and was starting to enjoy it more.”

Nakano faces the double challenge of adapting to a new team and assisting in the development of a brand new motorcycle.

“For the moment we have been searching for a good base set-up and we have managed to find it. There’s still a lot of work to do in particular with the electronics and the engine braking but we’ve still got plenty of time to sort things out,” says Nakano. “I am very pleased with these two days of testing, the level of the engineers is really very high and I’ve already established an excellent feeling with my team, I’m sure we’re going to work well together.”

Shinya Nakano completed 141 laps in his first test on the Aprilia RSV4.Joining Nakano on the track on the second day of testing was Marco Simoncelli, the 250cc Grand Prix champion. Aprilia Racing invited Simoncelli who races for another Piaggio-owned company, Gilera, to take part in the tests and the Italian rider recorded a best time of 1:36.3 through 37 laps.

“The test went well and I had a lot of fun,” says Simoncelli. “I really wanted to test this bike and, thanks to the Aprilia Racing Division, I was given this opportunity to do it. I found the RSV4 very easy to ride, the engine is really strong and pulls hard even at low revs. I was surprised by the power and the acceleration on the straight. I lapped quite well and I’m happy with the times. However for the moment I have more fun with the 250 even though it’s much more nervous and as a result more difficult to ride.”

Aprilia tester Alex Hoffman also took part in the testing session, making his return to the track after being injured in a crash in July. Hoffman recorded a best time of 1:37.3 through 90 laps.

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