In view of the second round at Aragon Melandri and Guintoli tested chassis setups and electronics.
Aprilia will arrive at the first European race leading the Rider championship with Guintoli, in third place with Melandri and at the top of the Manufacturer standings.
Jerez, 2 April 2014 – The long break after the Australian first round at Phillip Island gave the World SBK teams and riders a chance to recharge their batteries in view of the first European round which will be held at the Spanish Aragon circuit on 13 April. In order to regain familiarity with “race mode” and to hone their weapons in view of the next round, the Aprilia Racing Team had three days of testing on the Jerez track in Andalusia, where current championship leader Sylvain Guintoli and team mate Marco Melandri, third in the standings after the first round, were hard at work.
The first two days, marked by sunny skies but a lot of wind and mild temperatures, gave the Aprilia Racing Team standard bearers a chance to get a lot of laps in, completing a heavy workload and gathering fundamental information to develop the RSV4. While for Sylvain this was an opportunity to further increase his confidence on the track since he skipped the winter test sessions, at the same time trying out some new electronic and chassis solutions, Marco Melandri took advantage of the tests to explore the potential of the RSV4, a new bike for him in his first Aprilia SBK season. During the more than 150 laps he took the rider from Ravenna was able to test a variety of setups and electronic configurations aimed at increasing his familiarity with the bike, in addition to refining his riding style in search of the best harmony with the bike which is the reigning Champion of the Manufacturer Championship.
Winner of Race 2 at Phillip Island, Sylvain Guintoli put in a total of more than 160 laps at a good pace, confirming the positive feeling he demonstrated after the first race. His right shoulder, injured last year and operated on twice during the winter break, also held up well under stress which means that this can now be filed away as an overcome problem.
Marco Melandri: “Fortunately we were able to get a lot of work done, focusing on what we didn’t like about Phillip Island. On the first day we concentrated on shock absorption on the bumps and going into turns, whereas on the second day we tried to lap and get the RSV4 to close out the turns better. It was difficult but in the end we managed to put together a package that will allow us to improve. We had some other ideas we wanted to try out as well but unfortunately we weren’t able to do a lot of work on the third day. At Aragon I expect to see a leap of quality which is what we need to win.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “For us these three days were important, first and foremost to get back into the saddle after Phillip Island. This has been a very long break and I needed to get some kilometres in with the bike. We also had quite a few details we needed to test, besides new electronics strategies, so these were some pretty intense tests. I’m happy with the refinements. When we get to Aragon we’ll be strong and motivated and that’s what’s important.”
Romano Albesiano: “These were three very useful days of testing for the development of the RSV4. There are still a few improvements to focus on, both from electronics and a chassis point of view. Final race pace performance is not bad, but it still isn’t enough. At Jerez we gathered some important information that helps us to have a very clear idea on which direction we need to go.”