While the MotoGP teams are warming up ready for the final test of the season, either at Jerez for the official IRTA test or in Phillip Island for the private test for Suzuki and Kawasaki, Aprilia was rolling out its equipment for all of the classes it will be contesting this year at Valencia.
Shinya Nakano and test rider Alex Hofmann were testing Aprilia's RSV4 World Superbike weapon, Nakano setting a time about a second slower than the times set at the World Superbike race here in April, while Hofmann was a good deal slower, but likely to be much busier actually testing equipment, rather than setting lap times. Meanwhile, Alvaro Bautista was quickest of the 250 riders, with Bradley Smith fractionally faster than his Aspar team mate Julian Simon on the 125s.
But there were two other noteworthy visitors at the test in Spain. The first was the British Maxtra team, rolling out at one of the first public appearances of the bike. The team, which is being run by British GP legend John Surtees, features an engine tuned by Aprilia's and KTM's former engine guru Jan Witteveen, and despite Michael Ranseder being pleased with the bike, saying "you can ride the bike very cleanly, but I have to get used to the bike, as it's so different to anything else I've ever ridden," the Maxtra team did not release lap times.
The other prominent visitor was Marco Simoncelli. Simoncelli did not ride today, but he will be out on Tuesday. Not on his Gilera, though, but rather aboard the RSV4 superbike. The ride is not a test, however, but just a reward for winning the 250 World Championship. Simoncelli has unfinished business in 250s and MotoGP, and is not yet ready to head off into World Superbikes.
Times from Monday's test at Valencia:
|1||Shinya Nakano||Aprilia RSV4||1'36.3|
|2||Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia 250||1'37.1|
|3||Alex Hofmann||Aprilia RSV4||1'38.0|
|4||Gabor Talmacsi||Aprilia 250||1'38.0|
|5||Mike di Meglio||Aprilia 250||1'38.8|
|6||Bradley Smith||Aprilia 125||1'41.7|
|7||Julian Simon||Aprilia 125||1'41.7|
|8||Andrea Iannone||Aprilia 125||1'42.5|
|9||Sergio Gadea||Aprilia 125||1'43.2|