Melandri Returns Home To Aprilia
NOALE, Italy – Marco Melandri will be racing in Aprilia colors during the 2014 World Superbike season, replacing Eugene Laverty at the factory squad.
The rider from Ravenna has signed a one year contract with an option for renewal with the team, which just captured the 2013 World Superbike Manufacturers’ championship with the RSV4. This will be a return home of sorts for Melandri, who claimed the 250 World Championship in 2002 while riding for Aprilia.
“Coming back to ride the brand that brought me my first World Championship title is – first and foremost – very exciting,” Melandri said. “Speaking from a human and personal point of view, there are so many memories that tie me to Aprilia and they are memories of victories.
“In all these years Aprilia has demonstrated its worthiness in racing, winning one world title after another, so I am sure that I will find an environment where we are always ready to compete for victory,” Melandri said.
Melandri has raced in both MotoGP and World Superbike during his lengthy career. He has five MotoGP triumphs during eight seasons of competition from 2003 to 2010. In 2011 he moved to World Superbike, where he has scored 13 victories while riding for Yamaha (2011) and BMW Motorrad (2012-2013).
“Marco is a rider that we know well. He has already been a part of the Aprilia family, winning a fantastic world championship with our brand,” said Aprilia Racing Manager Romano Albesiano. “His qualities certainly need no confirmation. He has demonstrated that he is capable of fighting for the title from the first round even in a Championship that is new to him. I’m sure that he’ll do well astride our RSV4, a bike that in my opinion is well suited for Marco’s riding style.
“With the signing of Melandri and confirmation of Sylvain Guintoli after his excellent 2013 season, our commitment in World Superbike is confirmed, with the intention of increasing the Aprilia collection of titles. I would also like to thank Eugene Laverty who had a fantastic season astride our RSV4, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors”.