With Valentino Rossi’s splendid debut victory upon the Yamaha still fresh in the memory, local rider Sete Gibernau is hell-bent on success when the European leg kicks off at Jerez this weekend.

With Valentino Rossi’s splendid debut victory upon the Yamaha still fresh in the memory, local rider Sete Gibernau is hell-bent on success when the European leg kicks off at Jerez this weekend.

Even with some problems with the set-up of his bike, Gibernau managed good lap times and did not disappoint at the opening round in Welkom when he scored a third place after the tough race.

The Spaniard claimed his podium position with a problematic bike was like a victory to him and with the right setting he hopes to ride for a win at Jerez.

"For a Spanish rider it's very important to score a good result at the Spanish GP. Jerez is very special; it's one of the best racetracks in the world and not only for the layout of the track,” Gibernau said.

For another Spanish rider, rookie Ruben Xaus, the prospect of competing in his first home race in MotoGP is a bit more daunting as he admitted to feeling both nervous and excited about riding there.

"I know the circuit, but the last time I raced here was in 1995 in the Spanish championship," the Ducati rider said. "Now I've got pins and needles a bit, because I'm going to 'that' Jerez that everyone talks about, that I've seen on the television. And as much as people tell you about it, I think you have to live it.

Meanwhile, with debts totalling R1,739 billion, Aprilia has less than a week to find R61-million and avoid bankruptcy.

Apparently Aprilia has been forced to halt production because parts suppliers are refusing to deliver until they have been paid money owed to them.

The R61 million is needed to pay off interest to banks, and if the May third deadline is not met, the company will be declared bankrupt. However, even if investors are not found in time, the banks could appoint their own managers to keep the company afloat. Fears are though that they may find Aprilia’s MotoGP programme an unnecessary expense.

Bombardier Recreational Products has been pinpointed as the most likely competitor to come to Aprilia’s aid.

Original article from Car