Aprilia have finally confirmed that they will be providing factory backing for the Milwaukee SMR squad in WorldSBK for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
It had been an open secret for months that the Milwaukee team were looking to make a switch to Aprilia, and they had signed Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori to contest the championship for them.
But, it took a long time for the official confirmation to come through.
One of the key factors in the choice, for both Laverty and Milwaukee SMR, was to have strong factory support from Aprilia for the 2017 season.
The Aprilia RSV4 RF is still widely viewed as the best package on the WorldSBK grid inside the paddock, subject to the condition that the team running the bike has support from the Noale factory.
This is because the bike is quite finicky in setup, and only the factory engineers have the necessary data to get the setup just right.
With Laverty and Savadori signed, that leaves Karel Abraham and Josh Brookes out of a ride for next year. It also leaves the IODA racing team without support from Aprilia. At this moment, what will happen to them is unclear.
“Shaun Muir’s team, after making a good name for themselves in the British championship, wants to get to the top of a world category,” said Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager.
“Our agreement includes, in addition to providing bikes and materials, support from Aprilia Racing personnel to manage and develop the RSV4, within a Factory Support type relationship.”
“The birth of the Milwaukee Aprilia Racing Team also marks Eugene Laverty’s return to WSBK, a rider who we know well and whose professional and personal qualities have our utmost respect.”
“He will have Lorenzo Savadori working alongside him, a young rider who has been part of our sports project for two seasons in which he won the Superstock 1000 title first and then drew attention in WSBK with an extremely positive rookie year.”
Shaun Muir, the General Manager of SMR (and its namesake) followed up by saying that “for SMR, collaboration with Aprilia Racing for 2017 and 2018 means a real chance to fight for the win.”
“Aprilia has a strong and victorious history in World Superbike and we are determined to continue on the same path. Having Eugene and Lorenzo on board makes this a dream team.”
“Without a doubt, Eugene is coming back to WSBK for one reason only – to win. Lorenzo, on the other hand, is the fastest rookie and a sure protagonist. I wish to thank Milwaukee, Gulf and all of the partners who are supporting our project.”
Source: Aprilia Racing