Nov 30, 2012
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Jakub Smrz (right) and Mark Aitchison (left).
Aprilia UK unveils its first official entry into BSB with Splitlath Redmond
SPLITLATH Redmond can today announce an exciting new partnership with Aprilia UK ahead of the 2013 British Superbike Championship.
The team will now be known as Splitlath Redmond Aprilia and will receive parts and technological support from Aprilia Racing in Noale, Italy, as it returns to the leading domestic series with two Aprilia RSV4 machines.
The squad will also receive help from the WSB team, with personnel attending selected BSB rounds and tests to help with the development of the machine.
The Wales-based outfit has re-signed Kuba Smrz and Mark Aitchison to contest the 2013 championship, who both joined the team for the latter part of the 2012 season.
Bot riders quickly demonstrated the potential of the Aprilia as a race winner, with Smrz qualifying third on the grid in his debut round for the team at Assen in September.
"I am very happy to re-sign with Splitlath Redmond for 2013," said the Czech Republic rider. "I had the chance to make the last races with the squad this season and really enjoyed the BSB championship and working with all the guys.
"We did three rounds together so now we know what needs to be improved to give me and Mark the best to be on top, but I know this team is able to get us there.
"I am working hard on my physical condition and the team is working hard to get my Aprilia as fast as possible and put together strong people working for me. I can't wait to be back on my bike again."
Aitchison, who joined the team just days before the Brands Hatch round in July, gave the team its first glimpse of what the Aprilia was capable of when he qualified sixth at Cadwell Park in August.
But a crash in the opening race left the Australian sidelined for the next three rounds with a hand injury, eventually returning to action for the season finale in October.
"I'm very excited for the opportunity to continue on with the Splitlath Redmond team for 2013," he said. "Ever since I joined the team I have felt like a part their family.
"The latter half of 2012 was quite difficult for me, coming back from injury and attempting to regain some confidence, but I've been very fortunate to have such a supportive team around me.
"With their patience I was able to come back almost fully fit and build some momentum for next season. We have some big targets for next year, so I'm really looking forward working with my crew and Kuba to put both these Splitlath Redmond Aprilias at the front".
Team owner John Dimbylow said: "Today's news is very, very exciting for us as a team. We are absolutely delighted to be forming this partnership with Aprilia. This has always been our goal.
"We will now receive parts, tech support and help with development work from the factory which we believe will bring us right into play as one of the leading teams in the British paddock.
"We have re-signed Mark and Kuba who in our opinion are two of the best superbike riders in the world and have already proved themselves on the bike.
"Taking these two talented riders, adding in the factory support and a talented crew who are focussed only on success will make us one of the big hitters in 2013. We can't wait."
More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision:
SPLITLATH REDMOND APRILIA IN THE STARTING BLOCKS WITH AITCHISON AND SMRZ
Splitlath Redmond Aprilia are ready to hit the ground running when the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship gets underway next April after today (Friday) confirming that Australian Mark Aitchison and Czech Jakub Smrz will remain with the team for next season.
The team are eager to build on their 2012 programme as they continue the development of the Aprilia RSV-4s with Aitchison and Smrz, who both made their championship debut this year. Former World Superbike contender Smrz secured the team's best results including a maiden front row qualifying position at Assen and a twelfth place at Silverstone. Aitchison's early progress was hampered by a hand injury, but he is aiming high for his return to the team co-owned by former Olympic athlete Derek Redmond and John Dimbylow.
The team also announced an exciting new partnership with Aprilia UK as they will receive parts and technological support from Aprilia Racing in Italy, with WSB personnel attending selected BSB rounds and tests to help with the development.
Aitchison said: "This is the first time I have returned with a team and that is great news for me and shows that I am in a really settled place right now. I know the team and how they operate so we can have a productive winter and be ready to get started as soon as the season starts. We are all feeling really optimistic about next year and with the development we have planned we should be able to make baby steps in the beginning and then really build it up during the season. I am happy to be team-mates with Kuba again and between us we know we can work hard to put the Splitlath Redmond Aprilia where it should be and we need to be aiming for the top three. There is a great atmosphere in the team and we will keep having fun whilst getting the job done in 2013."
Smrz said: "I am happy to be back in BSB next season. It was great to be there for the final rounds this year and I enjoyed it a lot with the Splitlath Redmond Aprilia team. It wasn't easy to come in for the final rounds as the other riders had been on track all season and we were starting new. We spent time working to make the bike better at those last events, but now looking at next year I am pretty confident about the tracks I know and I will learn the others. My team is working hard on the bike already and we will be making a big step up next year. I am ready to do my best and I want to stay on top! I am sure we will be moving forward and I can't wait to ride again and be more competitive."
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