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SBK, Albesiano: "in 2017 Aprilia wants to double up"

"We have requests from other teams for our RSV4. Savadori? We'll give him the best"

Albesiano: "in 2017 Aprilia wants to double up"

Aprilia remained in SBK by the skin of its teeth, thanks to a last-minute operation by Giampiero Sacchi who, having emigrated from MotoGP, set up the Iodaracing team in record time thanks to a solid budget for the bikes, and also bringing Savadori on board, under contract with the Venetian manufacturer.

After a difficult start to the season, but one which brought continuous progress, the Aprilia RSV4 bikes are now consistently in the fight for the podium, having just missed it on several occasions due to small issues or sheer bad luck. The podium would bring the Noale bikes back to the level they deserve, considering past successes: three world riders' titles and four championships won by the manufacturer, results obtained in a short space of time or rather from 2009 until now.

The constant improvements on track have also raised the interests of Romano Albesiano, the engineer responsible for Aprilia's racing projects, and who, as well as coordinating MotoGP, has an eye on the production-derived series: “We've always liked the SBK but logically, Aprilia's main goal is to do well in MotoGP that, believe me, takes up many of the economic and human resources, taking up almost all of our free time, which is very little”.

Giampiero Sacchi and his team are doing well, are you pleased with their work?

I've seen them work and can confirm the quality of their operation, but I already knew this. I'm speaking with Giampiero and his team to extend the agreement to 2017 and beyond. Internally, we want our RSV4 to continue to participate in this championship, which, over the course of only a few racing seasons, has given us great results".

Have you sat down in Noale to discuss a change of strategy?

“I have to admit, the target we have set ourselves in MotoGP is still a way off, but it remains our priority. I also admit that in the company we're realised that our RSV4 SBK is equal to any bike on the grid and the road version does well in comparison tests... yes, our bike is a leader in its sector”.

Do you intend to bring out a new RSV4 road bike?

We've considered creating a new production bike with its related SBK version, but then we asked ourselves ‘why should we?’, our bike was well conceived and continues to perform, the project is healthy and can be evolved further, for specific technical reasons”.

And so what are those reasons…

“(he laughs) the bike was developed well by Max Biaggi, who preferred an extreme racing base, almost like a GP, not a production-derived bike; we can find hundreds of set-ups, as with a MotoGP. I have explained to De Angelis and Savadori that this bike needs to be ridden as if it were a GP,  the chassis is rigid, very precise settings are needed; you need to ride 'with your fingertips' if you want to get the most out of the RSV4”.

Is experience and technical information shared between MotoGP and SBK?

“Our racing department is not enormous, the people now working in MotoGP were in SBK until yesterday and are still involved in both projects; what history has taught us in the production-derived series, we are evolving in MotoGP and vice versa”.

There are more technical restrictions in MotoGP than in SBK, does this annoy you?

Well you have to accept these things in life… but it's true. For example, in SBK the electronics are completely free, while in MotoGP you have to learn to use one programme; it's strange but also interesting and confirms what I said earlier - our experiences in both championships continue on a track heading in the same direction: to continuously improve”.

Would you like to see more than one Aprilia team in SBK in 2017?

Sure, we've already received requests from teams that would like to use our RSV4 bikes next year; this is nice for us, as well as being a practical economic solution. As we don't have a true factory team, the customer teams (though very well supported) can prove to be winners in this category”.

Though it's experiencing difficult times, do you like the SBK?

I really like the SBK, this drop in interest is temporary and can be put down to various factors. For example, the change in the race schedule, with one on Saturday and the second on Sunday, this has destabilised the public who liked a double race on Sunday, but they'll get used to it. For us working, the decision to split the two races was a great one, now we can work more calmly, riders and mechanics have time to rest between Saturday and Sunday”.

So you think this paddock has a future?

Yes. Also because the environment is a very pleasant one, the races are great and there is real passion. In addition, the Supersport and Superstock categories are also fantastic, those coming to watch have a lot of fun”.

Someone who is having fun is Lorenzo Savadori, what are your plans for him?

Lorenzo is an Aprilia rider, currently riding for Iodaracing. We have a clause in our favour also for 2017, the aim is to put Lorenzo in the best situation for him and for his career, we haven't yet decided where he'll race next year but I can say that he'll have a competitive team and bike”.





Translated by Heather Watson

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