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Russia in MotoGP: Vladimir Leonov shares his first impressions

On the first day of test rides Vladimir Leonov’s main aim was to break in the new engine. The team’s technical director and Leonov’s personal motorist prepared a break-in plan that was smoothly fulfilled.

The Aprilia RSW 250 weighs 60kg less than the Yamaha YZF R6 that Leonov has been riding for the past couple of years. This will require a highly specific way of making turns and more effective braking. The bike also boasts more impressive acceleration dynamics and allows the rider to maintain high speed at maximum lean angles. “It’s important to feel the bike, to trust it. It’s like when you switch from a tuned Vaz 21010 to McLaren. This bike has tremendous speed and mobility potential, and I’ve got to use that,” Viessmann Kiefer Racing pilot Vladimir Leonov said.

Following the successful engine break-in, overwhelmed with new impressions and emotions, Leonov was given the task of riding quietly with no aggression in order to get used to the two-stroke bike. Special attention was to be paid to the gate valve specifics. In fact, this proved the hardest part for Vladimir. But owing to an experienced telemetry specialist and his own skills, Vladimir quickly figured out his mistakes and then began experiencing with the throttle grip. In the afternoon, Vladimir continued improving and perfecting his skills.

Born on April 26, 1987 in Donetsk, Rostov region (Russia), Vladimir Leonov currently lives in Moscow. He loves motocross, mountain skiing, snowboarding, jogging, music, and bicycles. He has been involved in moto sport activities since the impressive age of 12. At the age of 14, Vladimir participated in the Championship of Russia with his 80cc bike. In 2004, he received the amateur motocross Russian Cup in the under 125cc class. A mere year later, in 2005, he received the Cup in the under 250cc class. Since late 2006, Vladimir has been a member of the Vector Racing Team.

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