The Bol d’Or in 2012 ended in victory for Kawasaki ZX-10R with the front of a pack of Japanese competitors. Itself against all – or almost – an Aprilia RSV4 APRC managed to reach the finish of the opening of the Endurance World Championship, not without adventures. Emmanuel Parisse, head of Team Le Mans 2 Wheels, talks about the strong competitor…
The first participation of an Aprilia RSV4 1000 at Le Mans, shortly after its release, had greatly contributed to the commercial success of Aprilia twin. After all, if a bike can take 24 hours to build on the circuit, it does not let you go on the road. However, Aprilia still had a difficult time in terms of customer service.
But the factory is working hard and the arrival of the Aprilia RSV4 has caused a stir. Well born, the bike has won many comparative, before triumphing in World Superbike at the hands of Max Biaggi. Sales followed, but the V4 Aprilia had to confirm in the race other than in WSBK. Thus, Emmanuel Parisse – responsible for the concession and the Le Mans Endurance team two wheels – opted to hire an Aprilia RSV4 APRC Bol d’Or 2012.
Can you tell us about your race?
Emmanuel Parisse: this year the race was really difficult, because of the weather. We had rain, the drying, and the worst conditions: wet it will dry, fine, but the change in grip of the tires and the lottery, it is difficult to manage. Where we fall in the race we had to restore and repair the bike twice and we lost time every time. But we finish 22nd overall and 10th in Stock sport.
How did you prepare the bike? Where have you gained weight?
No special preparations: we are bound by pretty strict rules. Our bike was a 2011 model, with settings of 2012 and an online mapping Akrapovic exhaust specific. It had 1000 miles before the race and, when in doubt, we changed gears box for a box 100% safe. This operation is easy with removable box. For weight, you do not lose much, because we must have lighting, various facilities for the more Stamina. So you turn around 190 kg dry.
What mechanical operations have you had to make in-race?
No. We have not done anything mechanical side, no clamping, no game, we added 400 ml of oil in 24 hours, and it was really good. In fact, only the falls required to return the bike at the box.
The history of fragile rods is over?
Yes, long time. It was really a problem of outsourcing, which was originally the only recall campaign with the question and some RSV4R Factory. Since we no longer have filed a single motor last year, the race, we had a problem with spring return valve. This was fixed by the factory and we no longer encounter the problem. Aprilia has worked since beginning to improve the strength of parts: I think the bike is more experienced now.
Electronic devices they really help?
Yes, clearly. In the rain, we made excellent time, and traction controls plays a role and catch some loss of grip. It provides comfort and control is important. After, although we retain the standard system, it must be set. Between the anti-wheeling, and traction control, we must find the right settings for the electronics is a help, not a disability, by triggering too early example. In addition, provision must be made to change the settings in the race. In the wet, with rain tires, we can not keep the settings of the dry: it does not work. And then there was the driver. Following his style, he will need a more or less progressive traction. All this requires the development.
The chassis of the Aprilia RSV4 has a reputation for being difficult to resolve. What do you think?
It is true that the geometry and dimensions of the Aprilia make a real motorcycle “racing series.” So, the role of tires is crucial. From what we know is a very stiff bike and works much better with soft tires to the frame. Today we know better side settings, and our Aprilia RSV4 not move virtually.
How much does the Aprilia RSV4 race?
To complete the bike, I have not the exact total. Say about 25 000 €. But Endurance is the stock of parts and supplies that affect the budget. For example, our position tire for the Bol d’Or only amounts to about € 7,000 if one does things.