It appears Aprilia has selected Sylvain Guintoli to replace retired World Champion Max Biaggi on its factory World Superbike team, as the Frenchman tested an RSV4 Monday at Jerez.
Guintoli settled in right away on his new bike, turning the fifth-best time overall at the multi-manufacturer test, 1:42.838. Testing took place under mainly sunny skies, with track time interrupted by a brief shower.
Tom Sykes of Kawasaki led the test with an unofficial lap of 1:41.3. Kawasaki was the only team not to mount transponders to its bikes, but hand timing confirmed the fast lap. Michel Fabrizio was second on an Aprilia at 1:42.170, followed by Eugene Laverty's Aprilia at 1:42.226.
Honda were struggling. Leon Haslam was the quickest Honda at 1:42.954, followed by Ten Kate teammate Jonny Rea at 1:43.223. Both riders said they were more concerned with finding grip and a good feel with their CBR 1000RR machines than pure speed.
Testing continues Tuesday and Wednesday, with BMW and Ducati joining the fun Wednesday. Then MotoGP teams will take over through Friday, with Ducati Corse, Pramac and BQR on track.