It’s now official: there will be Aprilias on the 2016 Superbike World Championship grid. The riders are Grand Prix winner and ex- MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis and Lorenzo Savadori, reigning 1000 Superstock championship winner.
Both are confirmed to start the opening round at Australia’s Phillip Island at the end of the month.
The news was confirmed at the eleventh hour, by team IodaRacing, with just three weeks to the island kick-off.
|Alex DeAngelis won at Phillip Island in 2011. It was the Moto2|
race at the Australian GP meeting.
San Marino’s De Angelis was hurt in a serious accident at last year's Japanese GP at Motegi and spent eight days of hospitalisation in the intensive care unit at the Dokkyo University Hospital of Mibu. He was riding an IodaRacing Aprilia Racing Team machine.
This year he and his new Italian team-mate, Savadori, will be riding the Aprilia RSV4 RF, the bike that won the last two races of the 2015 campaign in the hands of Catalan rider Jordi Torres and England's Leon Haslam.
Their first track time on the RSV4s will be at the final pre-season test at Phillip Island from February 22-23, just days before the 2016 season start on February 26.
Alex De Angelis said: “My current physical condition is as yet unknown. Since the crash I’ve not ridden and the test before Phillip Island will also be important for that reason. I can’t fully contract my biceps and so I don’t have much strength in my right arm. It’s all a question of time.”
De Angelis who has tasted victory at Phillip Island in the past, winning the Moto2 race in 2011.
“In the test I’ll get my first taste of a Superbike, which I’ve never tried before. I’m sure that IodaRacing have a greater chance of doing well in World Superbike as opposed to MotoGP and I hope to get back into the top positions, which I haven’t been able to do for a while and I miss it.
“The Aprilia was a winning bike at the end of 2015 and we will have to see what the difference is now after the other marques have been working over the winter. I expect and hope that Aprilia won’t just prove a supplier but also an integral part of the team.
“I regret not having been able to test over the winter, but it is what it is and we’ll use the first couple of races as a test and make progress as soon as possible.”
Lorenzo Savadori is thrilled to race in the top class and said: “I’m very happy, because these few months have been quite challenging given the news has only just arrived, but I’m glad I waited and happy to continue my career with Aprilia. I’m also happy to work with IodaRacing, who have so much experience and come from MotoG, just as I am to have Alex De Angelis as a team-mate for the same reasons. The goal is to learn as much as possible, it will be the first time on a Superbike for me and I don’t know the Pirelli slicks, which are a big change. I’ll give 100 per cent to learn everything.
"Phillip Island as a track isn’t somewhere I know well, the last time I rode there was in 2010 on a 125 and everything will be completely different.
I want to thank everyone who has helped me to get here, and special thanks to Aprilia, my manager Lucio Pedercini and to the team for the opportunity.”