Thursday, February 26, 2009

Max Biaggi, Shinya Nakano on the Aprilia RSV4

Shinya Nakano and Max Biaggi, with the Aprilia RSV4 World Superbikes racebike

We think the Aprilia RSV4 is simply amazing. We love the way it looks and we’re sure it’ll go like blazes. This bike, we think, will rock the World Superbikes establishment on its haunches. On the Aprilia website, Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano – the two men who’ll be racing the RSV4 this year – have answered some questions about the bike’s handling and overall performance. Here are some excerpts from what the two have to say about the bike:

On its handling

Biaggi: ‘I am still working hard to find the perfect feeling but it is certainly more manageable [compared to the RSV1000] and very precise upon entering into curves. We are trying to do the most to optimize the handling in respect to the electronics and the engine. It does well coming out of curves – even if the movement is a bit skittish – and I am amazed at how it changes direction. I am also happy about its extreme reactivity.’

Nakano: ‘The RSV4 is really a ‘racing motorcycle’ and I immediately found a great feeling. It has an optimal limber that we worked on a lot during the first test since I think it is of utmost importance; I immediately achieved the sensation I had been seeking. It is still a bit skittish when coming out of curves although that doesn't depend on the mechanics but instead the power supply and engine mapping.’

On its ride-by-wire system

Biaggi: ‘Ride-by-wire was adopted from MotoGP and brought to Superbikes last year by Yamaha. It allows for a much improved management of the motorcycle and can be a great help to the rider since it is well calibrated to make the most of its potential.’

Nakano: ‘The functioning of this system didn't alter my riding style but instead gives more advantages. The most important thing is to find the right connection between the handle control and the rear wheel reaction. Finding the right setting can be tough but that wasn't the case with the RSV4; we've already established a great feeling.’

In a separate interview with Superbike Planet, Biaggi recently gave more insight into the RSV4’s behaviour. ‘It feels like more close on the way of Suzuki, for sure. Not even close to Ducati in the way the two cylinders go, the behavior. That bike is two cylinders less, it makes a big difference. It's pushing out of the corner in a different way compared to Ducati. But it's more close to Suzuki, which is an inline-four. So what I think is, it feels like, young. It feels like it's a young project,’ says Biaggi.

‘Our test in Portugal was not great but I am hopeful that we will come back strong for the Phillip Island test and race. I think the Aprilia Superbike project is very important to the factory and they are putting all of their strength behind it. It's good for me to be back with Aprilia and be back where it really began with me in racing. Would it not be a good story if after all these years we were again successful together,’ says Max. Yes, we’re sure it’ll be one hell of a good story. Here’s wishing you all the best – hope you, Nakano and Aprilia go on to rock the WSBK scene this year!

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