World SBK Aprilia Season Preview 2013

February 20, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli have the difficult task of defending the 2012 championship title for Aprilia Racing, now that Max Biaggi is on to other adventures. The four-cylinder RSV4 remains the weapon of choice for Aprilia, and 2013 marks the fifth season of Aprilia’s official participation in World Superbike.

Laverty finished 2012 in sixth overall and was able to find his way to the top-step late in the season, at Portimao in Race 2. He’s confident that his results will improve in 2013, and with a machine that’s taken two titles in the past three years, he is well positioned to be a threat this season.

“With a season’s experience behind me, I can certainly aim at important results,” said Laverty. “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.”

Guintoli had a tumultuous year in 2012, leaving one team for another mid-season, and missing an entire round due to the split. Through it all he amassed three wins and four additional podiums, finishing the season slightly behind Laverty in seventh overall. He’s well aware of the gravity of his position, piloting the current world champion bike, but has already developed an affinity for the RSV4 during pre-season testing.

“It’s an honor to ride the world champion bike, for me this is the most important occasion of my racing career,” said Guintoli. “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.”

Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano will also use an RSV4 in his bid for the 2013 title, and has already found a competitive pace on the mount during pre-season testing. He had mixed results in 2012 riding for Althea aboard the Ducati 1098R, earning two podiums and no race wins. Red Devils Roma’s Michel Fabrizio is the second satellite rider for Aprilia, and it’s already put him inside the top-four during testing at the Australian circuit. He’ll be looking to improve upon his 11th-place overall finish in 2012.

2013 Aprilia SBK Roster:
#58 Eugene Laverty – Aprilia Racing Team
#50 Sylvain Guintoli – Aprilia Racing Team
#34 Davide Giugliano – Althea Racing
#84 Michel Fabrizio – Red Devils Roma

Want to get in on the 2013 World Superbike action? Play Motorcycle USA’s Fantasy Superbike for a chance to win prizes like a VIP trip to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and $50 gift cards from Get in on the action before it’s too late. Round 1 at Phillip Island is set for February 24th!