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Melandri excited by Aprilia return

Marco Melandri sets his sights firmly on the 2014 World Superbike Championship title following the confirmation he will ride for Aprilia next season.
Marco Melandri says he is excited about the prospect of joining Aprilia for an assault on the 2014 World Superbike Championship, the manufacturer with which he clinched his first international title more than a decade ago.

After weeks of speculation, Melandri was formally confirmed as joining Aprilia Racing over the weekend, the Italian switching from outgoing manufacturer BMW to replace Eugene Laverty and join Sylvain Guintoli.

Melandri's move signals a return to Aprilia for the former MotoGP front runner, the 31-year-old having won the 250GP World Championship riding one of the firm's prototype machines in 2002.

It also means Aprilia will have an Italian rider within its factory team for the first time since Max Biaggi's retirement at the end of 2012, a factor that Melandri admits gives him added satisfaction heading into the 2014 season.

“Coming back to ride the brand that brought me my first World Champion title is - first and foremost - very exciting,” he 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.

“From a technical point of view, I am quite anxious to race on the RSV4, a bike that I have done battle with many times on the track. I think that she and I will... get along well, but the track, the first testing sessions and above all the races to come will give us the answer to that one. And then I think that riding an Italian bike into battle for the world title is amazing for an Italian rider. So follow along with us. It's going to be an exciting and fun season."

After several seasons in MotoGP, Melandri made his WSBK debut with Yamaha in 2011, marking his arrival with a run to the runners-up spot behind Carlos Checa, switching to BMW in 2012, Melandri notched up six wins en route to third overall before finishing fourth in 2013 with three further wins to his name.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri, end of season test, Jerez 2013
Rea and Melandri, end of season test, Jerez 2013
Melandri, end of season test, Jerez 2013
Melandri, end of season test, Jerez 2013
Melandri, end of season test, Jerez 2013
Melandri, end of season test, Jerez 2013
Melandri, end of season test, Jerez 2013
Jonathan Rea, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Melandri, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Melandri, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Jonathan Rea, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Jonathan Rea, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Melandri, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Guintoli, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Melandri, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Jonathan Rea, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Jonathan Rea, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014
Baz, Sykes, Melandri, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2014

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bigbikefan

November 05, 2013 12:29 PM

Marco Melandri is a brilliant racer..and thats what its about, RACING..It seems to me that whenever another rider does the same kind of move, its a fantastic move and they get a round of applause, but when marco does it, he gets slatted for it. I remember the Donington round where Jonathon Rae shuffed of marco, who hit into leon haslam. Melandri got the blame..how the hell did he do it, when rae came charging through.Makes me bloody cross, and yes im a Marco Melandri fan and have been for 9 years.



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