UPDATE: Aprilia and the FIM deny any irregularities with Biaggi’s Aprilia RSV4 at Assen.

Respected source in the World Superbike community, Sport-Bikes.fr is reporting that WSBK technical scrutineers have found an illegal fuel injection system on Max Biaggi’s Aprilia RSV4 Factory at the Assen round of the Championship series. According to World Superbike rules, the entire fuel injection system must be original to the street homologated motorcycle, including the pump, fuel lines, and injectors.

Scrutineering at Phillip Island found that the injectors of all three Aprilias were in compliance, as was also the case for the outlet pressure injection pump, which was checked at Donington Park. However at Assen, Max Biaggi’s RSV4 was found to be different from the bikes used by Camier and Haga, and was racing with a non-original fuel injection pump.

A fuel injection pump seems hardly a worthy offense to crucify the reigning World Champion over, and many will state that pushing the limits of the rule book is a part of racing (something Aprilia is already known for). Accordingly World Superbike has not docked Biaggi of his results from Sunday’s races, nor has it levied any sort of penalty for the team’s actions. Instead, Aprilia has simply been told it much replace the pump by the next race at Monza.

This is an interesting action, since there could be obvious race altering benefits to a new fuel pump design, a conclusion other publications have already jumped on. Sport-Bikes.fr has weighed out the different areas that Aprilia could have gained from the now illegal fuel injection pump. Reliability has never been an issue with Aprilia RSV4’s fuel system, which rules out an improvement in that aspect of the design. However, a new pump could in theory shave 300-500g of weight, which could modestly increase performance, but perhaps the biggest benefit could be a freer-moving assembly.

Reducing the friction caused by the fuel pump, Aprilia’s refined design could take load off the 999.6cc V4 motor, allowing it to in-turn use that power to drive the wheels. Sport-Bikes.fr speculates that 2-3hp could be gained from such a system, certainly enough of a power difference to change the outcome of a race. However, ultimately the pressure at the pump outlet for the standard and illegal pumps was found to be essentially equal, meaning the benefit to Biaggi was modest at best. This gives way to the reasoning why Race Direction hasn’t slapped the team with a stiffer penalty, and no other teams have levied a complaint.

Source: Sport-Bikes.fr

  • Chris

    I don’t understand how an alternate fuel pump could result in a reduced load to the motor. The fuel pump on the RSV4 not driven by the motor… it’s an electric pump. Are they speculating that the reduction in electrical load reduced the loss related to power generation on the bike?

    Looking at that more carefully, the question becomes what % of the overall electrical load is from the fuel pump. Given the ECU, sensors (including throttle demand sensor), gyros, accelerometers, GPS, ignition coils, etc, I would speculate there would be very little to no difference in the generator needed to run the bike.

    Another possability is that the new pump is more consistant. Given the location of the pump (above the rear exhaust headers), perhaps the new pump is less vulnerable to heatsoak related pressure loss.

  • spytech

    From what i understand, the pump can deliver higher pressure thus better atomization of the gas and more consistency. it is only good for a few more HP, but it is across the whole rev range, not just peak HP, makes a difference.

    but it doesn’t matter, they broke the rules!!! it is clear cut – they have known from the start of the season that these $5000 fuel pumps and different injectors were not allowed. if they were not original equipment pump and injector on the bike sold, it can not go on the bike. at the least he should have been docked a position.

    I hope they carefully inspect his bike all year round and as always, i hope he never wins a race!!!

  • gnmac

    I hope they bi*** slapped him for it :) !

  • Cpt.Slow

    Breaking the rules is breaking the rules… smh

  • Rob Evans

    Whats the point of rules if they’re not going to have penalties for breaking them?!
    Bottom line is some engineer (probably an extremely intelligent one) thought it beneficial enough to actually run an illegal fuel pump in the first place, and therefore some considerable gain was had somewhere. The FIM needs to wise up to the potential difference in race outcome that ANY cheating could cause, and reprimand Biaggi and his team for their actions.

  • buellracerx

    there are 2 kinds of racers – those who have and display integrity through their actions, and those who do not. this is why all my race bikes are to spec – a win just isn’t satisfying if you know you had to cheat to get it.

  • Damo

    Is anyone surprised? Biaggi has always had one of the worst reputations in the sport. I am huge Aprilia fan, but the dude is and always has been a punk.

    At least Leon Camier seems like a decent person.

  • hoyt

    good point buellracerx (how can a team not strive for that? no pride?)

    Considerable advantage or not is not the point. Given an inch, those types will try to take more next time….which blows it for everyone in the whole sport – racers, sponsors, fans