WSBK Qatar: Aprilia boss celebrates WSBK titles as MotoGP beckons

Could Sylvain Guintoli's World Superbike Championship title be the fitting conclusion to Aprilia's factory presence in World Superbikes...?
Piaggio Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno has hailed the efforts of Sylvain Guintoli and Romano Albesiano after Aprilia successfully wrapped up both the riders' and manufacturers' World Superbikes titles for 2014.

Guintoli overturned a 12 point deficit to Kawasaki's Tom Sykes during the final round in Qatar to snatch his first-ever world championship glory, in doing so sealing the manufacturers' crown for Aprilia too.

Aprilia's third riders' title after Max Biaggi triumphed in 2010 and 2012, the combined efforts of Guintoli and Marco Melandri have in turn seen the Italian firm notch up its fourth manufacturers' title in the six seasons it has campaigned the RSV4.

A significant triumph for Albesiano, who took control of Aprilia's racing project from the Ducati-bound Gigi Dall'Igna, his and Guintoli's have been recognised by parent company Piaggio.

"I am very proud because with Aprilia once again this year a great Italian brand has dominated on a global level in motorsports,” said Colaninno. “This was a difficult championship right down to the end, that seemed to have been lost but was then re-opened and that makes the result we achieved even more exceptional, with two world titles won.

“My compliments to Guintoli - simply extraordinary. Romano Albesiano did a very good job. Along with his team he demonstrated his ability not only to design great motorcycles, but also to successfully take on the challenge of sport management.

“Since returning to Superbike in 2009 Aprilia has won seven world championship titles in six years. These two world championship titles reward the Piaggio Group's technological innovation skills, which once again dominated despite the fact that our rivals become fiercer every year. It's not by chance that - in just ten years - we have seen Aprilia win 28 of its 54 world titles and the Piaggio Group has taken a total of 32 world titles in just a decade.

With Aprilia's future in World Superbikes unclear in the wake of its decision to move into MotoGP next season, though confirmation of its plans are still forthcoming, Coleninno's suggests attention is now turning to its new endeavour.

“Now we are facing a new challenge entering MotoGP which is taking place a year ahead of schedule with respect to our previously announced plans. We will be entering the premier world championship with the same spirit we have always had: dedication, a desire to learn and grow and the awareness of our abilities and our heritage as a great Italian brand.”

Though it remains to be seen if its title success will prompt a change of strategy, sources suggest Aprilia will divert its WSBK resources to the privateer Red Devils Roma team in 2015 and provide a degree of factory assistance, similar to the scenario that saw Ducati support Althea Racing in the wake of its factory withdrawal in 2011.

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November 06, 2014 3:45 PM

I must admit, Melandri is a jinx, have hasn't stayed with the same team for 2 consecutive seasons since joining WSBK, poor guy! 2011: Yamaha pull out 2012: BMW Motorad pull out 2013: Eurobet BMW pull out 2014: Aprilia pull out Guy has awful luck!


November 06, 2014 11:54 PM

MotoMarc: Also isn't it nice that Aprilia is giving Melandri who doesn't listen to team orders, rides dangerously and didn't win the championship a spot on the Aprilia Motogp team
I didn't know that Melandri's future had been confirmed in MotoGP. Please tell us where you saw that announcement.

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