2009 Aprilia RSV4 Superbike Shows Strong at Losail.
Both Aprilia riders Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano were able to show the potential of the new RSV4 machine in the Losail races. The Italian was always one of the protagonists of the three-way battle for the lead with Spies and Haga and ended up by taking two third place podium finishes on Sunday, while his Japanese team-mate backed him up with an excellent fourth in the first race and seventh in race 2.
With Aprilia having been absent from WSBK since 2002, Biaggi’s first podium was the first time the Noale manufacturer has scored a podium finish since that year’s Assen race when Noriyuki Haga took third behind Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss.
"It was a great race," declared Biaggi after the second encounter. "I climbed onto the podium once again, thereby confirming our potential on this track, which is a bit special for me. Haga and Spies were extremely fast, they are the best right now and I am happy to always be there battling it out with them. The race was difficult. Towards the end I had lost a bit of grip and I could feel the pressure of Kiyonari. Now we’re looking ahead to Valencia and we are confident that we will do well. I would like to thank my team once again, I feel at home with them, it is like a big family, we do everything with a lot of enthusiasm, putting all our effort into it and everyone always does their best."
"I started off well, but after a few laps, I made contact with another driver and lost ground," said Nakano. "So I had to push it to the maximum to try and recover. I managed to get back up to sixth position, but I was alone and I couldn’t keep a steady pace. Five laps from the end of the race, Neukirchner caught up to me and passed me and it was there that we began to battle it out up to the finish line, where I was left in his slipstream, by just a few centimetres though. In any case, it was an excellent weekend. We improved a great deal with respect to Phillip Island and Biaggi showed everyone the RSV4’s potential. Valencia is next, and it’s a track that I am familiar with. It’s also where I rode an Aprilia for the first time, even though that won’t put me at an advantage since the bike is a lot different now."