The Aprilia Racing Team 2013 was officially presented last week in Milan. After a stellar 2012, which saw Aprilia win – for the second time in their Superbike World Championship history – both Riders’ and Manufacturer’s titles, the works team of Italian motorcycle maker will tackle a new season aiming to remain on top.
The arrival of fast and expert Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli, alongside confirmed rider Eugene Laverty, completes a team that is otherwise unchanged and once again led by Technical and Race Manager Luigi Dall’Igna.
For the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, Aprilia is fielding the flagship bike in its range, the groundbreaking four-cylinder RSV4, with its exclusive narrow-angle V4 engine. The bike won its debut race in 2009 and conquered four titles (two double rider-manufacturer victories) in 2010 and 2012, with Max Biaggi in the saddle.
“With a season’s experience behind me, I can certainly aim at important results,” Laverty said at the launch. “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 become World Superbike Champion.”
The 30-year-old Guintoli will soon make his race debut onboard the World Champion bike.
“It’s an honour to ride the current winning bike,” he admitted. “This is for me the biggest opportunity 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 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 ‘home’, despite having ridden bikes with very different features in the past. The RSV4 is fast, but more importantly it offers all the adjustments in order to be adapted to my riding style.”