Nov 28, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
From a press release
issued by Aprilia:
Marco Melandri (33) testing an Aprilia Superbike at Jerez.
FINAL TESTING FOR THE APRILIA RACING TEAM BEFORE THE WINTER BREAK.
237 TOTAL LAPS FOR MARCO MELANDRI, HARD AT WORK TO ADAPT THE RSV4 TO HIS RIDING STYLE.
Jerez - The 2013 season ended with three days of testing at Jerez de la Frontera for the Aprilia Racing Team, World Superbike Manufacturer World Champion. On the Spanish track Marco Melandri was hard at work, as was test rider Alex Hofmann, working on development of the RSV4. The rider from Ravenna continued his work astride the Italian V4, the bike he will be riding in the hunt for the 2014 World Superbike title.
Marco used the 237 laps he put in over the three day period to increase his feeling with the torque of the Italian bike, testing various settings and different technical aspects before the winter break, when testing will be prohibited from December 1st to January 15th.
A lot of work was done, especially on trying to adapt the RSV4 to Melandri's riding style without focusing on the best time, but concentrating on a good race pace and, above all, fine tuning the synergy of the bike-rider package.
With a best lap of 1'40.7 and a pace which was consistently in the neighbourhood of 1'41, both Marco and the team can be well satisfied with the last tests of the season.
Marco Melandri: “I'm very happy about this testing period, particularly because I'm still not 100% satisfied with the way I'm riding the bike. We especially need to work on braking coming into slow turns. Over these three days we have identified the things we can discard for the future and my relationship has grown with the team, which is now complete. We definitely have a faster race pace than my fast lap time would suggest, but I'm sure that we can get even better by exploring new avenues in terms of the setup. Once the dust settles I'll sit down with the mechanics and sum up the situation so I can hear their opinions as well and from there we will prepare for the 2014 season as best we can”.
Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager, already has winter developments in mind: “During these three days of testing we continued fine tuning the feeling between Marco, the RSV4 and the team. We tested various chassis and engine and settings as well as several control strategies, identifying a clear line of development. Our performance level is already quite satisfactory in terms of race pace, but our fast lap still needs some work. During the winter break we'll analyse the data we've collected and prepare some more proposals for our riders for when testing resumes in January”.