Reigning British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes is moving up to the World Superbike Championship, signing on to race for the Voltcom Suzuki team. The 23-year-old captured the 2013 BSB title for the Samsung Honda team but will now switch to a Yoshimura-prepared GSX-R1000 for the 2014 season, joining Eugene Laverty with the Voltcom Suzuki squad. […]
Aprilia Launches 2013 WSBK Campaign, Begins Life Without Max Biaggi
Aprilia opened a new chapter in its racing history, unveiling its team livery for the RSV4 for the 2013 World Superbike Championship. The 2013 season will be the first since the Italian brand returned to WSBK racing in 2009 without “the Roman Emperor” Max Biaggi who retired at the end of last season after winning his second title in three years on Aprilia’s flagship V4 sportbike.
Despite the departure of Biaggi, who is moving up to the broadcast booth to cover WSBK for Italian television, Aprilia hopes to remain a title contender with the returning Eugene Laverty and the newly-signed Sylvain Guintoli. Laverty finished sixth overall in the championship in 2012, his first with Aprilia, scoring a win and six total podium finishes. His familiarity with both the RSV4 and the team will help him this season.
Guintoli meanwhile will find stability with Aprilia after a turbulent season that saw him quit the controversial Liberty Racing team ahead of its home round and finish the season with the Pata Racing team. Drama aside, Guintoli has shown flashes of talent, winning races and earning podiums with both his teams in 2012.
Helping both Aprilia’s proven history of racing success and the impressive package the RSV4 presents. In addition to the combined six wins and 17 podium finishes recorded by the factory team of Biaggi and Laverty last season, Chaz Davies recorded a win and four podiums of his own with the ParkinGO team.
“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,” says Luigi Dall’Igna, Aprilia Racing technical and race manager. ” 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.”
The RSV4′s livery receives some minor changes for 2013. The Italian tri-color striping along the front edge of the fairing (as seen on the North American exclusive special edition version) is replaced by a red stripe leading down to horizontal red-white-and-green stripes. Similar tri-color stripes appear on the fuel tank. The other notable changes are the newly-mandated fake headlight stickers and 17-inch wheels.