Aprilia Racing Team at the start of World Superbike. After five days of testing, Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty are ready for the first round of 2012 on the Australian track at Phillip Island.
Phillip Island, 23 February 2012 - The engines of the factory derivative bikes start back up with the first race of the world SBK season on the Australian track at Phillip Island. The first of the 14 races scheduled for this year will be a chance to see the competitiveness of the teams and riders after the winter break.
The 2012 début for the Official Aprilia Team RSV4 bikes was preceded by five days of tests during which five time world champion Max Biaggi worked hard together with his team, radically renewed, to compete as best as possible on the 2012 season starting grid. The times the Corsair put on the board are promising, always close to the top spots.
On the other hand, his new team mate, Northern Irish rider Eugene Laverty, had to skip two days of official tests after an injury sustained during last week's test sessions. In any case, the fracture to the third metacarpus on his left hand will not keep him from climbing aboard his RSV4 for the first tests on Friday, and only then will Eugene remove any doubts about his participation.
"These days of testing have been very important for us - commented Max Biaggi - having a completely new team we need to try out the mechanisms and work out any kinks in the way we work. I'm rather satisfied. We really tried everything on a track which is certainly not one of our favourites. The lap times were good, considering the fact that I wasn't pushing for maximum performance, but I was looking for a set-up which will allow us to be fast over the long distance. In any case, the race will put us to a hard test. Our rivals have shown speed and consistency, so we will really have to fight tooth and nail right from the beginning of the season to aim for a good result".
Eugene Laverty is optimistic about his physical condition: “My season has suffered a minor setback following my hand injury in the test last week. Fortunately we have had more than a week off the bike which has allowed the hand to improve a huge amount. I have flown my doctor out to Australia to help with my rehabilitation and we have been working constantly on my injury for five hours every day. I feel confident that I will be fit to ride but I guess I will have to wait until Friday to find out. Honestly I feel that Carlos Checa and my teammate Max are out of reach unless I am 100% but it won’t stop me from trying!”.