Aprilia is poised to take another win as the World Superbike series takes place on the Malaysian GP circuit this weekend.
Aprilia has reason to be excited for Sepang. The World Superbike series makes its debut this weekend at the Malaysian circuit, which is one with particular advantages for the Italian team.
The first advantage is the track itself. Originally designed for Formula 1, it has a pair of enormously long straights that will favor the big top end of the Aprilia, and more than a few point-and-shoot corners that will reward the V4’s acceleration.
The other advantage will be the riders onboard the RSV4 Factory machines. Marco Melandri, Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli each have experience at the circuit from their days in GP racing, which will pay dividends early. These riders will have a leg up in the early practice sessions, as they’ll have to spend no time learning the track, and can instead start immediately on bike setup and testing.
The wildcard at Sepang, as always, will be the weather. June in Malaysia is hot and humid, with head indices over 100°F and the perpetual threat of a pop-up thunderstorm. The heat will test the riders’ conditioning, and if rain becomes a factor, their nerve.
The excitement from Aprilia seems well warranted: RSV4s took each of the top three positions in the first Friday practice session, with Melandri, Elias and Guintoli.