BORN INTO RACING
60s / 70s
After the début in the Motocross sport in 1975, Aprilia enters World Championship Motorcycle Racing to challenge the unbeatable Japanese in the extremely competitive 250 class.
’90 – ’95
’96 – 2000′
2000 – 2005
Consecration arrives in 2000: participating for the first time in Superbike with an official team, Aprilia astonishes: Troy Corsertakes five victories and four Superpoles, just missing the title. In the World Motorcycle Racing Championship the triumphs continue: Roberto Locatelli is World Champion in the 125 class for the fifteenth world title in Aprilia history.
2006 – 2009
classes of the world championship.
But a revolution is just around the corner and in 2009 Aprilia’s most ambitious project yet begins. Simultaneously with the launch of the RSV4 on the market, a revolutionary supersport bike, characterised by an extremely advanced 1000 cc, 4 cylinder 60° V engine, Aprilia Racing plans its return to the World Superbike championship. The rider Aprilia chooses for the project is Max Biaggi whose return to Noale comes twelve years after his last title in the 250 class, with Shinja Nakano riding alongside him. The first year shows continuous growth for the bike and the first victory comes on the track at Brno.
Eight more podiums are added to that victory to confirm the quality of the project and the skills of the rider. 3 world titles arrive from MotoGP: the 125 rider title with Spaniard Julian Simon Simon and the manufacturer title both in 125 and 250. In 2009 the first results for the two cylinder RXV 4.5 also arrive, a bike which Aprilia uses in the great raids of the Rally world: in the Pharaoh’s Rally Paolo Ceci takes the victory in the 450 class and Aprilia ends with a solid fourth place, racing against bikes with much larger engines. It is the prologue for the Aprilia RXV 4.5’s introduction to the Dakar 2010.
In the most famous and gruelling of the off-road races, Aprilia RXV takes an incredible third place with Chilean Francisco Lopez(winner of three rounds) and dominates in the 450 SP class with Paolo Ceci.
The American triumph on the Miller Raceway track launches Biaggi to the front of the standings. This is a position that in no way intimidates the already four-time World Champion and the double victories are repeated at Misano and Brno. Only the Brit, Haslam, tries to hold off Max and his red, white and green Aprilia – which takes the big Alitalia “A” to the top of a motorcycle championship – but the match ends at Imola.
Aprilia Racing won the 2011 Supermoto S1 World Championship. Both Rider and Manufacturer titles arrived in the last race: local star Adrien Chareyre, from Fast Wheels Team, on Aprilia 4.5, won the world titles at stake in the decisive French GP.
With the title Aprilia holds the Italian colours high in the 2013 world motorsports season.
With 10 wins (9 for Laverty, 1 for Guintoli) and 26 total podiums, the Italian manufacturer chocked up 550 points against Kawasaki’s 501, 443 for BMW, 243 for Suzuki, 236 for Honda, 185 for Ducati and 8 for Yamaha. This is peremptory confirmation of the Italian 4 cylinder Aprilia RSV4’s superiority.
On the Losail track Sylvain Guintoli completed a comeback that will go down in Superbike history and with two brilliant and indisputable wins in the two night races on the desert circuit he overtook Tom Sykes, earning the World Champion crown for the first time in his career.
After the American round at Laguna Seca the advantage Sykes (Kawasaki) had built up over Guintoli was 44 points, a huge gap with just three rounds left in the season. Since then the RSV4 and its riders were on the comeback trail, proving to be unbeatable. At Jerez and Magny-Cours Aprilia dominated the races winning three times with Melandri (and Guintoli second each time) and once with Guintoli (and Melandri second). These were extremely significant points that allowed Aprilia to catch up and overtake Kawasaki in the Manufacturer World Championship and Guintoli to turn up at the Qatar round trailing Sykes by just 12 points.
The 2015 season marked Aprilia’s return to the MotoGP class a year ahead of the initially announced schedule. In fact, the intent of the Piaggio Group’s strategy to commit the Aprilia brand in the top class was to favour a rapid growth of competitiveness, focusing all Aprilia Racing’s technical and organisational efforts on developing prototypes for the top category. For this reason Aprilia Racing will rolled out on the track with the support of an agreement reached with Gresini Racing. After a season of “race testing”, riders Alvaro Bautista (Spain) and Stefan Bradl (Germany) were able to consistently fine-tune the Aprilia RS-GP machines and even finish in the top ten on a few occasions.
These are comforting results, especially when you consider that the first modern Aprilia MotoGP is actually a laboratory bike, largely derived from the RSV4 WSBK dominator and which served to acquire the expertise and skills needed to design the new prototype which will race in 2016.
Parallel to the efforts in MotoGP, the RSV4 confirmed its status as a winning bike in World Superbike. Raced by riders Leon Haslam (UK) and Spanish rookie Jordi Torres, the V4 from Veneto won 3 races and took 10 podium finishes to confirm its competitiveness. Another extraordinary podium finish (the eleventh in 2015) came from Max Biaggi who, at 44 years of age and three years after retiring from racing, during his second wild card appearance (after competing in the Misano round) took a magnificent second place finish on the Sepang track in Malaysia.
The championship season saw the track début of the Aprilia RS-GP, the first MotoGP bike designed and built entirely by the Italian Racing Department, beginning with the exclusive “narrow” V4 engine which has by now become Aprilia’s calling card. Confirmed riders, Álvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl demonstrated consistent progress with a total of 26 finishes in the points for the 18 races on the MotoGP calendar, results that would take the Aprilia team to seventh place at the end of the season.
In World Superbike, the RSV4 machines were managed by a satellite team (the riders were Alex De Angelis and Lorenzo Savadori, making his WSBK début). The RSV4 thereby continued demonstrating its value in the factory derivative championship. In MotoAmerica, Claudio Corti and Team HSBK (competing in Superstock 1000) brought home several podium finishes, even ahead of the more powerful Superbikes. In the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, Kevin Calia finished the season in third place, boasting seven finishes in the points (with two podiums) in the eight races held.