Aprilia has signed up veteran Italian racer Max Biaggi to ride their new V4 RSV4 in the World Superbike Championship next year, the factory has confirmed.
The Italian's signature is a coup for the Aprilia team, who face a steep learning curve as they re-enter one of the most hotly contested racing series in the world; Biaggi won three 250cc world titles for Aprilia in 1994-1996 riding a RS250.
Aprilia last raced in World Superbikes with its RSV-Mille twin and secured victories with Tory Corser and Regis Laconi, however, the firm has shifted its focus to an all-new 1,000cc V4 engine layout.
Aprilia have also released the first images of its road legal RSV4.
The 65-degree, V-four uses state-of-the-art electronic mapping and fly-by-wire technology, which presents a real possibility that it could run with traction control on the road.
Like a factory superbike - owners will be able to adjust everything from the headstock angle, swingarm and engine position.
No price has yet been confirmed and a launch date has not been announced.
© The Press Association 2008