2013 WSBK: Fierce Battle between Aprilia and BMW Expected in Assen
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BMW and Aprilia have shown real grunt in the first two rounds of the season, but none of them had so far a definitive blow in this battle. With only 4 races it was only natural that the gap between the Italians and the Germans was only a small one.
However, we're totally excited to see that the battle is an evenly-matched one: Sylvain Guitoli and Aprilia are in the lead with 85 points, followed by Chaz Davies with 63, after winning both races at Aragon two weeks ago. Then comes another Aprilia, rode by Irishman Eugene Laverty with 45 points and just two points lower comes Marco Melandri and his BMW.
But with the first and second places earning 25 and 20 points, respectively, it's easy to figure out that the battle is only beginning. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is looking forward to Assen in high spirits after seeing that podium is possible in two consecutive races and the riders are also eager to prove they can beat Aprilia.
Chaz Davies tells Worldsbk.com: "After my double win at Aragon I am really looking forward to Assen. Obviously it is a confidence booster every time you win, but doing it twice really sets you up for the next races. I am very comfortable now with the RR and how I am feeling on the bike.
On top of that, Assen is a circuit I enjoy and one that has been good for me in the past. Back in 2011, I celebrated my first World Championship victory there by winning the Supersport race, last year it was the first time for me to go through to Superpole 3 and I had a pretty decent pace in the dry."
His team mate Marco Melandri adds: "My shoulder was feeling ok in Aragon for most of the weekend. Only towards the end of race two did I start struggling. The shoulder was a bit inflamed so to compensate I stressed the other arm more and as a result I got some cramps.
Anyhow, I am quite calm because I have enough time until the next race to cure the inflammation. In the meantime I am continuing with physiotherapy and training in order to be fit in Assen. It's a nice track and I feel really comfortable there, even if I prefer the old layout which was wider. What really concerns me is the weather. Last year we weren't lucky with it, so I hope this time it will be good and not too cold."
We have battle-focused declarations in the other camp, as well, as Sylvain Guintoli states: "We come to Assen leading the championship and with growing confidence. In Aragon, I had to face my demons! Together with my team, we worked hard and manage to get 2 great results.
Assen is a place with many great memories. I had my first world stage podium (with Aprilia!) in 250 back in 2003 and also my 1st WSBK victory last year. I am excited to race again on this fantastic track and to enjoy once again the RSV4."
Eugene Laverty is a bit more preoccupied by his rivals, but he's also in a mood for fighting on Dutch asphalt: "I've put Aragon behind me and I'm thinking only about the remainder of the season. There's no point in dwelling on it. Assen was the venue of my first podium finish on the Aprilia last year and so I have fond memories of riding the RSV4 around there.
I really enjoy the flowing nature of the circuit and it usually makes for close racing. We know that the BMWs and Kawasaki of Tom Sykes will be strong but the Honda duo could be up there too."
❐ Check out the Guintoli versus Davies in Assen photo gallery
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