After dominating the first round of the season at Phillip Island, with Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty each sharing a victory and a second place podium, the Aprilia Factory team decided to head to Jerez de la Frontera for a two-day test, taking advantage of the long break before the Motorland Aragon round that is scheduled for April 14th.
According to a press release by the team, the Aprilia RSV4 has not been radically modified since last season, but it has undergone a targeted evolution to make fine tuning easier and to make it less susceptible to variations in weather conditions, affecting only the chassis set-up and the electronics.
Eugene Laverty put in 140 laps with a best time in 1′41.47, while Sylvain Guintoli did 121 laps over the two days with a best lap in 1′42.79.
In last January’s World Superbike test at the Spanish circuit Marco Melandri topped the timesheets in 1’40.758, while Tom Sykes reportedly (the Kawasaki riders weren’t using transponders) did a 1’40.5 on a qualifying tire and 1’41.6 on race tires.
“We certainly got off on the right foot at Phillip Island,” confirmed Gigi Dall’Igna, Aprilia Racing Technical and Sport Director. “With results that provide us with confirmation of the good job we did over the winter break. However, in the racing world if you snooze you lose, especially if you base everything on a single, albeit excellent, result. We are fully aware that not every weekend will be like the one in Australia, so we will keep working on the RSV4 and testing new solutions that will allow us to gain precious tenths of a second. These tests are also important for the riders. A long break between the first and second round could lead to a drop in tension. I must say that Eugene and Sylvain are two great professionals. They are very skilled at enhancing and developing the work done by our engineers and mechanics. This is an excellent calling card for the rest of the season”.
Aprilia test rider Alex Hofmann was present and filmed the above footage of him chasing Eugene Laverty around Jerez, and BMW Goldbet’s Superbike and Superstock teams with Chaz Davies, Sylvain Barrier andGreg Gildenhuys were also at the Spanish cricuit. Obviously Marco Melandri wasn’t testing as he is still recovering from last month’s shoulder surgery.