MV Agusta Returns to International Motorcycle Racing at the QBE Round of the Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island in February 21 -23
Iconic Italian motorcycle brand MV Agusta will make its official return to top-level international motorcycle competition next February when it lines up in the opening round of the 2014 Superbike World Championship at Victoria’s Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.
The marque, which has a record 37 individual and 38 manufacturer grand prix titles to its credit, will be officially involved at world level with the Russian-based Yakhnich Motorsport Team. The outfit will run Italian Claudio Corti in world superbike with its F4 1000 RR, backed up by a two-pronged attack in world supersport with Jules Cluzel and Vladimir Leonov. Yakhnich Motorsport won the supersport title in 2013 with Sam Lowes at the helm, but he was on Yamaha machinery.
It has been more than 37 years since MV Agusta last won a world championship, courtesy of the great Giacomo Agostini at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit back in 1976.
Corti brings .a wealth of experience to the team, including a stint in the CRT class at MotoGP level.
“Once I got this proposal I had no doubt on what to choose. I am honoured to represent such a powerful brand like MV Agusta, which is officially back to racing to be a protagonist, and at the same time I feel a big responsibility on my shoulders,” said Corti. “We have a lot of work to do in our first WSBK but I’m ready to give my best and share my experience with the team, in order to reach together the highest goals.”
Corti took little time to get to work with the team testing at Jerez last week. The Varese-built Superbike was lapping at 1m42.9s by the end of testing, an encouraging result considering the engine is still undergoing preliminary development and tuning and the chassis set-up is still being sorted.
“I’ve never ridden a bike with a front end that gives such great feedback. Moreover, the engine also feels extremely promising. I can’t wait to ride the completed, definitive version of the bike in the January tests, and I get the feeling we could get good results even in our very first year,” said Corti, post the Jerez test.
Meanwhile, Cluzel spent 2013 in world superbike but returns to world supersport hoping to better his runner-up finish in 2012. Twenty-six-year-old Leonov, from Moscow, has been racing world supersport for three years and last year finished 10th overall with Yakhnich, with a best third place at Imola.
In testing at Jerez, both Leonov and Cluzel made several test runs to refine the electronics set-up on their F3 675s.The engine and chassis set-up are also under development, but both riders put in lap times of around 1m45s .
MV Agusta Imports Australia is thrilled by the return of MV Agusta factory racing to the world stage.
“The new generation of bikes from MV represents our race heritage as well as extreme dominance in performance and design. MV Agusta Imports Australia will be working with Team WNR and Warwick Nowland in 2014 to race an MV F3 675 at the highest level of Australian Supersport competition as a homegrown parallel to the WSBK efforts.”