Aprilia launches 2017 World Superbike contender
Aprilia has unveiled its bike for the 2017 World Superbike championship, as it formally launched its tie-up with Shaun Muir's Milwaukee operation.
The Italian manufacturer returns to WSBK in a full works capacity after a year's absence, with MotoGP convert Eugene Laverty and Aprilia protege Lorenzo Savadori making up the riding strength.
The pair were present for the launch of the new RSV4 bike on Tuesday morning at Jerez, where most leading teams are present for a two-day test.
Milwaukee, two-time championship winners in the British Superbike series, raced with BMW machinery for its debut WSBK season in 2016, with Josh Brookes and Karel Abraham as riders.
Neither will return to the series this year however, as Brookes returns to BSB with the TAG Racing Yamaha team and Abraham joins the Aspar MotoGP squad, effectively replacing Laverty.
Brookes will however make a wild-card appearance in the season-opener at Phillip Island, his home circuit, on his 2015 BSB title-winning Yamaha R1, which will be run by the ER Motorsports squad.
Testing resumes at Jerez
Tuesday also marks the beginning of 2017 action for the majority of teams, with the works Kawasaki, Ducati, Yamaha and Honda teams all present at Jerez for two days of testing.
It will be a particularly significant test for Honda riders Stefan Bradl and Nicky Hayden, who will get their hands on the new-for-2017 Fireblade bike for the first time.
As well as the factory teams, Althea BMW, Barni Ducati and Puccetti Kawasaki will also be in action at the Spanish circuit, joined by a number of leading World Supersport teams and BSB squad Bournemouth Kawasaki.
World Superbike brings in unorthodox starting order rules for 2017
Hayden says new Fireblade's test pace not representative