Jan 20, 2002
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From a press release issued by Aprilia:<BR><BR>Aprilia Racing Press Information<BR>Jerez de la Frontera (Spain)<BR>20 November 2002<BR><BR>Tests for Aprilia RS Cube and next season's works riders come to an end at Jerez.<BR><BR>Three days of tests in Jerez came to an end today for the Aprilia Racing Department's RS Cube and for the two works riders Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga. This is the very first test session of the winter season and it was unfortunately marred by bad weather. Yesterday, atmospheric conditions kept the bikes away from the circuit for a long time. So the programme for this first round of tests had to be radically rethought, with many laps, and indeed many hours being spent in the wet, making the work very different from what had been originally planned. <BR><BR>Even so, a huge amount of work was successfully carried out, as Ing. Gigi dall'Igna, head of the MotoGP division of the Racing Department of Noale confirmed: "The two Aprilia RS Cubes went out onto the track with the same configuration as in the last races this year. We sure haven't been too lucky in terms of the weather conditions over the past few days, but we still managed to complete a number of tasks we had scheduled. At the beginning, we needed to find exactly the right position on the saddle for the two riders, and this of course took time, but then we carried out a number of tests on adjusting the settings, and then worked on the ignition software. We've certainly gathered a lot of data and this means we'll be able to establish a work programme for the next tests in a fortnight's time. We also got some good references from the first tests on Michelin tyres. Fickle weather conditions during the three days meant we've been out on rain tyres, intermediates and slicks. As you can imagine, we're hoping for more stable weather conditions for the next test sessions in December so we can concentrate better on one detail at a time."<BR><BR>Colin Edwards was back on his bike as usual, despite Monday's fall that left him with a jagged, bruised wound on his left elbow. The American champion wasn't too affected by the accident that brought his first day of tests to an abrupt halt, and he got straight back onto his RS Cube to complete the programme for the following two days. The important thing for Colin was to get a good feeling for the three-cylinder from Noale and it was today that he best got to grips with it. "Monday's fall was my first real ‘contact' with the system the RS Cube uses to unleash its horsepower. I've spent 24 years of my life learning to open up the gas on a racing bike and on Monday I suddenly discovered a completely new way to do it. What actually happens is you give the command to a computer that sends it to the engine. It's something new and has to be learnt. My very first experience, my debut with this system was pretty powerful. I closed the throttle at the moment I thought best, then there was a delay of a fraction of a second, the rear wheel started slipping and I went for a slide. It wouldn't have made any difference if it had happened immediately or after an entire day of testing: it's a reaction in the system that I've learned to understand. I'm amazed by the Cube, it's an extraordinary bike. You can customise it as much as you like with no end of different settings - it's a lab on two wheels, really special. I was expecting a lot of power, but certainly not that much. We did a lot of work, in spite of the rain. It must be said you can't feel changes in the set-up nearly as much when you're riding in the wet, but I think we've been able to do some good work that'll help us in the forthcoming sessions. So I'm very pleased and even though my elbow does hurt a bit when I think about it, it never bothered me when I was actually on my bike and riding. Now I can't wait for the next tests to carry on developing the Cube, a bike I think has all the potential of a winner, and one I really want to get a good feeling for."<BR><BR>Noriyuki Haga also did some successful testing although, after the very first sessions in the early autumn, this was actually the second time he had been on the RS Cube.<BR><BR>"I tried many different settings on the RS Cube. I knew it a bit already so I carried on working on the settings of the bike to make sure it suits my style of riding," said Noriyuki Haga. "Sure, the rain didn't let us do what we'd expected but it didn't stop us from carrying on with our work programme either. The tests on the full rain tyres went well, and we got some good feedback by trying out different settings on the bike. I'm particularly pleased about the power of the engine, even though I rarely found myself able to open up fully and examine the finer details really carefully. But I'm very happy with the way the tests went and with all the work we've done."