Imola, 30 March 2012 – The first day of tests and the first verdicts are in at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola. The Aprilia Racing Team arrives at the first Italian round after the excellent start at Phillip Island, which saw Max Biaggi as key player in both races. The Corsair aims for the first success of his career on the track that saw his world victory in 2010, an ambitious goal, but one that Max and his Team began working on from the first Friday test sessions.
The day ended with a fourth qualifying time with extremely close times: an astonishing 15 riders are grouped to within less than one second of one another. This is a characteristic of the Imola track, decidedly improved (according to the riders) after the partial resurfacing. The last few tenths, notoriously the most difficult, will have to be shaved off tomorrow before the Superpole which will decide the starting order for the races on Sunday.
“As often happens here at Imola the times are really close – confirms Max – Every tenth of a second is important here because it can mean various positions in the race. We’re quite happy with the work we did today, I’m back on this track after missing the races last year due to an injury. I found it pleasantly improved after the resurfacing, but it is still an old school track. Tomorrow we’ll build on what we started today to improve even more. I saw a lot of riders in excellent shape who will definitely put the pressure on during the races on Sunday”.
Continuing his apprenticeship on the bike from Noale is Eugene Laverty, on the heels of a bit of an unlucky Australian round. The Northern Irish rider’s physical conditions are good, so now what Eugene is missing is the right feeling with his RSV4 that he’ll be riding on the Imola track for the first time. The twelfth time he put on the boards during the free practice session and the ninth during qualifiers are a testament to his improvement. Tomorrow Eugene will have to look for an edge in order to turn up at the races in the best possible condition.
“This morning I struggled a bit to find the best setting but in the afternoon we moved in the right direction. Now we’re 4 tenths behind the front runners which is a good place to start for tomorrow. In any case we need to keep improving if we want to fight for a spot on the podium. A good outcome here would be very important for the season and that is certainly our goal, especially since my fitness is good and I can finally give 100%”.