With BMW Motorrad pulling the plug on its World Superbike racing effort, and letting the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK team disband, speculation has been rife as to where riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies would land for the 2014 WSBK season. We already know that Chaz will join Davide Giugliano at Ducati Corse next season, but what about Marco?

Well according to the Italian this week, Melandri will fly the Tricolore with Aprilia Racing for 2014 — presumably taking Eugene Laverty’s spot in the factory-run team. Lapping around Jerez on an RSV4 at the end-of-the-season WSBK test, Melandri’s move is perhaps not a shock for anyone following World Superbike, and the announcement already makes him a favorite for the championship next season.

Melandri’s announcement was brief in length, though straight to the point. With his contract at BMW Motorrad coming to a conclusion on October 31st, Melandri simply posted the words “Aprilia Racing” to his Twitter feed, along with a mock-up of his new Aprilia Racing leathers as his account cover art.

Melandri will join Sylvain Guintoli at Aprilia Racing, though it remains to be seen whether Eugene Laverty will remain with the Noale brand, perhaps on a factory-supported machine in a private team. The latest WSBK paddock rumors suggest that Laverty is instead headed to the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team with Alex Lowes, with an eye on a move into MotoGP for 2015. As always, time will tell.

Source: Marco Melandri (Twitter); Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • TwoWheelLoo

    Not a bad move; but for Laverty, what’s the huge rush? I would’ve stayed with Aprilia and win a title before making the move to GP’s. Although the Suzuki ride isn’t half bad either…. Only time will tell….

  • Frito

    Wait…oh ok there is a motorcycle in the photo.

  • Gutterslob

    These racer boys really do have terrible taste in headphones.

  • Sir Lancelot

    “These racer boys really do have terrible taste in headphones”

    … and sunglasses.

  • BBQdog

    They probably wear who pays them ;-)

  • Tigre

    Sounds like Laverty sort of got the shaft when Gigi went to Ducati. He was being talked about going to Aspar’s team on the updated RSV4 GP bike, then possibly going to Ducati now that Gigi was there. But then lost his seat when the music stopped. Hope he can make that Suzuki go quicker than Camier and Cluzel did. Consistency will be his only hope it looks like.

  • Matt


    Okay. We know that you have a man crush on Melandri, but you don’t have to repeat it over and over.

  • Motobell

    I’M SURPRISED… no one has mentioned a possible scenario of Eugene at Pramac Ducati to take Ben spies place…Gigi probably rates Eugene highly and could influence that seat..

  • Fashionista
  • Ring

    I would also have liked to see Toni Elias on that Factory Aprilia. He did a pretty good job.

    “These racer boys really do have terrible taste in headphones”
    At least they´re not Beats

    “… and sunglasses.”
    Disagree, they´re cool. Those flat “look at me, i´m a retro hipster” Bans/Oaklyeeays are silly

  • Norm G.

    re: “I’M SURPRISED… no one has mentioned a possible scenario of Eugene at Pramac Ducati to take Ben spies place”

    don’t be, that scenario’s not worth thinking about.

  • Laverty was sacked by Aprilia for Melandri and the Pramac seat will be occupied by Yonney. Suzuki seems to be Laverty ride for 2014 ..