2013 World Superbike
Aprilia, the reigning World Superbike manufacturer, launched its team and livery Thursday in Milan.
Aprilia Racing, which won the 2010 and 2012 World SBK titles with the now retired Max Biaggi at the controls, will field two riders aboard the RSV4 superbikes in 2013 – Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty and the Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli.
The World Superbike Championship is one of the most important race series in the Italian manufacturer’s branding. With the two Biaggi titles, Aprilia has won 51 world titles: 38 in Grand Prix (where it also holds a record of 294 GP race victories), four in Superbike and nine in off-road events. Including the Piaggio Group, of which Aprilia is part, the total score of championship wins rises to 101, a result that places the Group in the Olympus of the all-time most successful constructors.
Leo Francesco Mercanti (AD of Aprilia Racing) says: “The importance of Superbike in our brand’s recent history has been strengthened by the renewed commitment of the official Team, which, on the strength of four world championship victories in the last three seasons, comes to the starting grid with a sole objective, to add to Aprilia’s extraordinary track record.
“The level of this competition, seen last year in a championship fought for up to the last bend, makes every success even more important and attests to the Piaggio Group’s commitment to developing road bikes delivering top-level performance and technology. The innovations and technical solutions we are bringing to the race track will then be made available to motorbike devotees. And we are bringing them to the track to win.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Aprilia Racing Technical and Race Manager) says: “We are getting ready for the fifth season of our official participation in the World Superbike, a championship that absolutely reflects the Aprilia philosophy because it involves bikes based on a factory product. Both Eugene Laverty, who is well acquainted with the RSV4, and our new entry Sylvain Guintoli have the potential to achieve the ambitious results established by Aprilia tradition and by our status as current champions.
“The RSV4 was just extraordinary in the 2012 season: all the riders who raced it, not just Max Biaggi, but Laverty and Davies too, rode it to victory. This season’s first test a few days ago in Jerez confirmed our expectations. A long tough season lies ahead, but we are fully prepared and motivated.”
Eugene Laverty says: “With a season’s experience behind me, I can certainly aim at important results. I prepared well over the winter and during the first tests of the season I worked really hard together with the Team on the development of the RSV4. It’s a bit soon to start talking about goals and rankings, but I have to admit that my intention is to win the World Superbike.”
Sylvain Guintoli says: “It’s an honor to ride the world champion bike, for me this is the most important occasion of my racing career. A lot of people have asked me if I feel under a lot of pressure, but the fact that I want to do well and prove my worth in the World Superbike is far greater than any tension. What surprised me most about the RSV4 is that it felt immediately natural to ride. Straightaway I felt “at home”, despite having ridden bikes with very different features in the past. The RSV4 is fast, but more important it offers all the adjustments to enable it to be adapted to my riding style.”