By Dan Moakes
March 14 2007
Aprilia has been one of the most impressive smaller GP class performers of recent years, with their eight 250cc and seven 125cc titles all coming in the last fifteen years, thanks to riders such as Valentino Rossi and Marco Melandri. They are also only the fourth manufacturer to rack up over 200 victories, with all but one of these having come since 1990. The first Aprilia wins in Superbike were in 2000, and the marque was among the first to commit to the new top class four-stroke formula in GPs, complete with an engine developed by Ford Cosworth.
As ever, there remains a heavy bias towards Aprilia in the 250cc and 125cc GP series. Jorge Lorenzo, Alex de Angelis, Álvaro Bautista, Héctor Barberá and Thomas Lüthi (250), and Mattia Pasini, Gabor Talmácsi, Sérgio Gadea and Héctor Faubel (125) are likely to be up front in the new season.
The MotoGP class 990cc Aprilia was the RS³ Cube, which showed potential in the hands of Régis Laconi, Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga. British riders Jeremy McWilliams and Shane Byrne piloted the bike in 2004, but the team did not appear in the class beyond that season. The 60° twin RSV 1000 World Superbike, which last won a race with Laconi in the saddle, has not been entered since 2002, although it was a podium contender that year with Haga on board.
Aprilia’s success tally