Aprilia Struggles With the RS Cube

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
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The two-strokes lead the time charts so far, but a V5 isn't far behind...

From Aprilia Racing:
The free practice session in the morning saw the RS Cube make its debuton the Japanese track. Without no previous tests, no references: it was astart from scratch. So information had to be collected immediately and,above all, the initial times had to be improved. And so it was, duringthe qualifying sessions, that Régis Laconi improved his morningperformance by 2.4 seconds, demonstrating the Cube's great potential forprogress and the bike's remarkable response to the modifications made bythe technicians.

Improved handling once the set-up had been adjusted alsolet the Cube show off a good top speed, which had been lacking in themorning practice: 303.3 kph...

"We needed the first references from the Suzuka track so we could getstarted on our work and solve the various problems" commented JanWitteveen. "The initial priority was to improve the set-up and the workwe did has already given its first results in terms of performance. Inthese cases, we need to know exactly what to work on, without gettingconfused -- each problem has to be solved one at a time. This eveningwe're going to be examining all the data and we should get still betterresults tomorrow."

# 3 Régis Laconi -- 18th (MS APRILIA RACING) 2.07.916 said: "This morningwe sure were a long way from a good result, and there was lots of work todo. We gritted our teeth and started out in the right direction.Performance got much better and in the afternoon there was a remarkableimprovement. We've still got to work on the set-up as I still haveproblems of chattering. In any case, the Cube responds instantly to allthe modifications and there's still plenty of room for improvement. Weneed time -- tomorrow's going to be a tough day."

1. Loris Capirossi (2:05.052)2. Valentino Rossi (2:05.096)3. Tohru Ukawa (2:05.561)4. Kenny Roberts Jr. (2:05.630)5. Shinichi Itoh (2:05.650)6. Carlos Checa (2:05.846)7. Daijiro Katoh (2:05.858)8. Max Biaggi (2:05.910)9. Olivier Jacque (2:06.253)10. Shinya Nakano (2:06.339)11. Akira Ryo (2:06.378)12. Norihiko Abe (2:06.567)13. Jurgen van der Goorbergh (2:06.731)14. Sete Gibernau (2:06.964)15. Alex Barros (2:07.015)
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