Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Simoncelli tests RSV4

Marco Simoncelli was given a special reward for winning this year's 250cc World Championship, when he rode Aprilia's new RSV4 World Superbike machine at Valencia on Tuesday.

Simoncelli clinched his first world title riding for Gilera - which, like Aprilia, is owned by Piaggio - allowing the Italian to try the 1000cc four-stroke which Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano will race in WSBK next season.

Marco completed 37 laps was a best time of 1min 36.3sec, which was one second slower than Nakano (69 laps) but one second faster than Aprilia test rider - and former MotoGP racer - Alex Hofmann (50 laps).

"It was great fun. The motorcycle is much bigger than I am used to, but I was able to lap quite quickly and therefore I am happy," said Simoncelli. "The RSV4 has a lot of power, which I could really feel during acceleration."

Simoncelli will remain in 250cc to defend his title next season, and is then expected to make the move to MotoGP in 2010. Simoncelli has already been linked with Yamaha and Ducati.

Aprilia's 125 and 250cc teams have been testing alongside the marque's WSBK squad at Valencia this week.

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