Aprilia have finally confirmed the plans for a full-factory return to the World Superbike championship for 2017 first reported by MCN six weeks ago, releasing details about their link-up with former BSB winners Milwaukee SMR and former title runner-up Eugene Laverty.
The Northern Irishman will be joined by rising star Lorenzo Savadori in the Guisborough-based squad for 2017, with Aprilia Racing Manager Romano Albesiano saying the squad is the perfect vehicle for their title ambitions.
"In Shaun Muir's team we found a partner who shares our goals and who, after making a good name for themselves in the British championship, wants to get to the top of a world category.
“Our agreement includes, in addition to providing bikes and materials, support from Aprilia Racing personnel to manage and develop the RSV4, a jewel of technology that will once again be able to show its worth, within a factory support type relationship.
“The birth of the Milwaukee Aprilia Racing Team also marks Eugene Laverty's return to WorldSBK, 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 in whom Aprilia has invested 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 WorldSBK with an extremely positive rookie year."
And, according to team boss Shaun Muir, who won the MCE British Superbike title with both Tommy Hill and Josh Brookes, the addition of Laverty and his Aprilia experience to the squad makes them title contenders from the off.
"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 WorldSBK 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."