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Leon Haslam leads the Rider Championship, Aprilia at the top of Manufacturing Standings

Aprilia South Africa News

Phillip Island (Australia), 22 February 2015 – Aprilia never gets tired of winning. The RSV4, reigning World Champion bike, and the new Aprilia Racing – Red Devils team, pick up where they left off in November, on that magical night in Qatar when the Italian team took the double world title.
On the Phillip Island track Leon Haslam (photo) made his début astride the RSV4 and brought home Aprilia´s 50th win in World SBK. The first victory was in 2000, right here at Phillip Island with the RSV Mille ridden by Troy Corser. But it has been in the last 5 years, and with the RSV4, that Aprilia has won all its championships in the factory derivative category, taking 4 Manufacturer and 3 Rider titles and racking up 42 of their 50 total wins.
With these results Aprilia comes home from the Australian round with first place both in the Rider (with Haslam) and Manufacturer standings.
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Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager had this to say about the 2015 opening round: “After a long winter where the guys in the racing department worked hard we arrived here at Phillip Island with a lot of question marks. These were all erased by this fantastic Sunday where Leon came so close to bringing home a double win, in any case putting in an excellent result in his first races with the RSV4. This promises to be a very well balanced season, with several riders in contention for the win, but I believe that our performance today once again confirms our competitiveness. Leon showed incredible courage and determination today, while Torres continues to improve and has already reached an enviable level for a rookie in this category.”
Arriving at the Australian round with two new riders and the new RF version of the RSV4, Aprilia found itself in the limelight straight away with Leon Haslam. The fast English rider, making his first curtain call on the Italian V4, confirmed the RSV4´s ability to win with riders of any style, and he was a key player in both races, battling courageously and cleanly with his countryman Jonathan Rea.
In the first of the two races, after they pulled ahead of the pack along with Davies, they engaged in a memorable duel overtaking one another several times before the spectacular last lap. In the final race for the chequered flag, Rea broke through by just 39 thousandths of a second.
The script was much the same with the players reversed in the second race. Haslam and Rea did battle, doing full honours to the spirit of this championship – which promises to be particularly spectacular this year – taking turns in the lead, once again down to the last lap. At the last turn Haslam came around in his countryman´s slipstream, looking for the pass in the final run. And that is exactly how it went, with Leon Haslam winning his first championship race on an Aprilia 10 thousandths of a second ahead of Rea.
“This race brings back great memories. My last win was at Kyalami in 2010 after a great battle with Rea. My compliments to my team. They did a great job all weekend. In Race 1 I unfortunately made a mistake, but luckily I felt like I had a wide enough margin and I was able to rejoin the pack and finish second in the final dash by just a few thousandths. I started Race 2 even more motivated to win. Despite feeling like I had less “reserve” after the halfway point, everything went according to plan. In the last turn I opened up the throttle at the right time and I realised that I had overtaken Rea straight away right on the finish line. I am truly happy to finally be back on the top step of the podium!” – Leon Haslam
The young Spanish rider, Jordi Torres, also had an opening day full of positive notes. In his first SBK race he stayed in the top spots of the standings, showing no reverential fear for the big names in the Championship and, after battling with the likes of Guintoli and Bayliss, he made an excellent fourth place finish. This was a great placement well within his reach in Race 2 as well, but just after overtaking Sykes after a long battle for fourth, he fell victim to a sliding crash without any physical damage, but which ended his race.
“This was a Sunday where I learned a lot. In the first race we performed well. I was fast from the start and I learned a lot about tyre wear and what sort of riding style to use to conserve it. You have to avoid leaning all the way over and be very careful on the gas – a lesson that I was putting to good use in Race 2. Unfortunately Sykes really brakes hard, so I struggled to overtake him and just when I thought I could do it I pushed to hard and crashed. I need to take away all the good we did this weekend and stay calm. I can be fast but I need to improve the way I manage the race.” – Jordi Torres
“Today Haslam and the entire team won, a group of professionals who are accustomed to winning. We were well aware of the great potential that both Haslam and the RSV4 have and today at Phillip Island we received confirmation that Leon is capable of riding a top level championship to fight for the title. It won´t be easy because we are competing at a very high level, but we will give it our best effort. Torres was making his debut in the Superbike championship but he showed that he can compete with the fastest and most expert riders in the category, so we are confident that in the coming races he will bring home great results.” – Andrea Petricca.

 

WSBK 2015 – Phillip Island Round Results
RACE 1:
1. Rea (Kawasaki)
2. Haslam (Aprilia)
3. Davies (Ducati)
4. Torres (Aprilia)
5. VD Mark (Honda)
6. Sykes (Kawasaki)
7. Guintoli (Honda)
8. Terol (Ducati)
9. Lowes (Suzuki)
10. Camier (MV Agusta)

 

RACE 2
1. Haslam (Aprilia)
2. Rea (Honda)
3. Davies (Ducati)
4. Sykes (Kawasaki)
5. Guintoli (Honda)
6. Terol (Ducati)
7. De Puniet (Suzuki)
8. Camier (MV Agusta)
9. Baiocco (Ducati)
10. Ramos (Kawasaki)

 

RIDER STANDINGS
1. Haslam (Aprilia), 45
2. Rea (Kawasaki), 45
3. Davies (Ducati), 32
4. Sykes (Kawasaki), 23
5. Guintoli (Honda), 20
6. Terol (Ducati), 18
7. Camier (MV Agusta), 14
8. Torres (Aprilia), 13
9. Baiocco (Ducati), 12
10. VD Mark (Honda), 11

 

MANUFACTURER STANDINGS
1. Aprilia, 45
2. Kawasaki, 45
3. Ducati, 32
4. Honda, 22
5. Suzuki, 16
6. MV Agusta, 14
7. BMW, 5
8. EBR, 2