Shinya Nakano is confident that Aprilia’s new RSV4 World Superbike contender has the potential to become a race winner in its debut season.
The Japanese rider made his debut on the new bike in Valencia last week, and the former 250GP championship runner-up said: “The bike is new but it has a lot of potential for the future.
"I was lucky my first test was in Valencia because that was the last track I rode in MotoGP for Honda, so I had a reference and it was easy to compare the two. The engine feeling and top speed feels almost the same, but the acceleration is slower than in MotoGP.”
Nakano, who will partner Italian Max Biaggi in 2009, said: “I felt very comfortable and I was almost as quick as Carlos Checa’s best pace from the race earlier this year.
Nakano though, who lost his ride in the Gresini Honda squad at the end of 2008, said he was looking forward to his next outing in Kyalami, South Africa later this month.
“I’m really looking forward to that test because in Valencia there was only us (Aprilia) and nobody else. It is hard to understand our level but the Kyalami test, everybody will be on track, so we will have a clearer understanding of where we are at.”
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