The World Superbike series last left off with Max Biaggi claiming the 2010 title. For 2011, Biaggi will return to Aprilia to defend his crown as a whole new field enters the picture.
A new year is upon us and with it comes new beginnings for the World Superbike series. Just days away from the start of the 2011 season in Australia, the WSB paddock has seen dramatic changes since Max Biaggi clenched the 2010 title. In order to update fans on the latest off-season happenings and new team signings, MCUSA delivers a helping hand with a breakdown of manufacturers and teams in our 2011 World Superbike Season Preview.
Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
First up on our list is the 2011 Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team of Max Biaggi and Leon Camier. Coming into the 2011 season with a bull’s-eye on the back of his helmet, Biaggi will attempt to defend both the Rider and Manufacturer titles in the upcoming season after signing a new two-year contract with Aprilia. Biaggi snagged a total of 10 victories in 2010, including four double victories, to become the first ever Italian to win a World Superbike title. Biaggi, along with his Aprilia team, made major improvements on the RSV4 machine throughout last season, and following solid off-season tests the returning champion should have his equipment well dialed-in at this point.
Also returning with Aprilia for his second year is Biaggi’s teammate, Camier. The British rider produced positive results for the team last year with three podiums to finish 12th in the series. The 24-year-old suffered a broken scaphoid in his right hand toward the end of the season which required surgery to fix. However, the 2009 British Superbike champion has since taken up a grueling training regimen to prepare for the 2011 season and is expected to be in fighting shape for the season opener.
“I think people know by now that I don’t make predictions on how the next session will go, let alone the next race or the season,” said Camier. “You’ve got some of the world’s best riders all ready to fight it out and I know that absolutely anything can happen so we’ll just have to wait and see. All I know is that I’m as hungry as I have ever been, and I have done everything I can this winter to be ready; now I’m totally 100% focused on the season ahead.”
Noriyuki Haga will head Pata Aprilia’s efforts as the Japanese rider enters his 13th season in World Superbike.
Extending Aprilia’s presence in the 2011 World Superbike season will be Noriyuki Haga. The Japanese rider will carry-out his 13th season in WSB after signing a deal with Pata Racing’s satellite Aprilia team. Haga earned sixth overall in the 2010 championship with two wins and fours podiums to his name. While his results in the previous season were respectable, it was his worst finish in the series since 1999. Now equipped with a new team, Haga will look to put his name back at the top of the leaderboard in 2011.
“I will be provided with a highly competitive motorbike, the one that belonged to the world champion in 2010,” said Haga. “With this I think I will be able to aim for first places at every race. Throughout my career I achieved a lot, but I’m still not satisfied. I dream of winning the world title and it isn’t written that I can’t do it on this motorcycle. For sure, on paper, official teams have an advantage, but Aprilia has already shown its willingness to give the greatest support to a racer fighting for a big goal.”