At top pace
Shinya Nakano (Aprilia Racing) has been busy in the winter preparing for his maiden WSB season, but his experience in other forms of racing told him that until the racing had started for real, his understanding of his new career would be incomplete.
with Friday's first practice at Phillip Island, Nakano was enthused by his new experience, and his enthusiasm translated itself into respectable points scores.
"These two Friday sessions were very exciting for me it is my first real debut in the class and the first time that I've ridden together with all the other riders. In first qualifying we fitted new rubber and set the sixth fastest time straight away. We are all very close and sixth place proves that we are pretty competitive."
One thing Nakano shared with all the other riders was a new Superpole format, and he also found that enjoyable, if stressful at the time.
"This new Superpole formula is a real adrenaline rush. It's new for all of us. You always need to be on high alert and have a good strategy."
In race one Nakano scored 15th place and a point, but in race two an even better result was on the cards, even if he slipped back during the race.
"I started off well in race two, arriving in sixth position", said Nakano. "Halfway through, the tyres were worn down and I couldn't push as much as at the beginning, so I slipped back into twelfth place. We must improve the engine set because when the grip decreases, it becomes difficult to handle the motorcycle's power.
The positive aspect is that when the feeling is good, I can stay in the lead to battle it out for first place."