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4 stroke Aprilia RS3 makes official test debut in Jerez

4 stroke Aprilia RS3 makes official test debut in Jerez

The Aprilia RS3 made its official test debut in Jerez today at a private session organised by the Italian factory for its MotoGP, 250 and 125 teams. Overnight rain left the track unsuitable for testing until 1pm, although it did wash away much of the dust created by construction work to leave a clean surface when the riders began to lap in the afternoon. The 4 stroke MotoGP machine was restricted to just a few cautionary laps at the hands of experienced veteran test rider Marcellino Lucchi, whilst team-mate Regis Laconi completed a ´shakedown´ session on the Aprilia Superbike he rode in WSB last season.

´The rain delayed us only slightly this morning with it being our first day of work,´ said Aprilia General Racing Director Jan Witteveen. We have found that the suspension is too soft and we will be working to make it harder so that the riders have more ´feeling´ with the bike. We have a lot of work to do in order to find the right combination of things.´

Official Aprilia 250 riders Fonsi Nieto, Toni Elias and Roberto Locatelli were also present at the Spanish circuit although the main centre of attention aside from the RS3 was quarter-litre debutante Casey Stoner. ´I wasn´t too nervous getting on the bike for the first time today,´ said the highly rated Australian youngster, who has gone straight into the category after starring in national 125cc Championships in Britain and Spain last season. ´The aim of this test is just to get to know the 250 machine as quickly as possible and hopefully I will be quick enough by the time the season starts. ´ Stoner´s team-mate David Checa also took part in the test, as did fellow Spaniard Hector Faubel and German rider Dirk Heidolf.

Some of the main 125cc World Championship contenders came face to face for the first time this year, with Aprilia riders Lucio Cecchinello, Alex de Angelis, Simone Sanna, Gino Borsoi, Steve Jenkner and Max Sabbatani completing their first laps of the preseason alongside Honda rivals Dani Pedrosa and Joan Olive. Also present were 125 debutantes Alex Baldolini and Stefano Bianco (both Aprilia).

500cc, 2001

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