Aprilia on the Move to 4-Stroke GP

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
As you know, Aprilia has been the company to watch lately. Technology-driven and looking for niches in the motorcycle market, they've had tremendous success with everything from their Mille (just look at Troy Corser in WSB) to their Scarabeo 50 scooters (of which they sold over 250,000 world-wide last year).

We just got off the phone with Aprilia and took the time to confirm a few things we'd been hearing lately, most of which center around the team's rumored 4-Stroke GP effort. A lot has been guessed about Aprilias intent after their obvious absence in 500 GP this year, and Aprilia's marketing guru Robert Pandya assures us that, when speaking of the funding normally reserved for their 500 GP effort, "all that money now goes into GP-1..."

When asked about the bike's engine configuration he continues, "we're not married to a V-twin." Given that, he refused to elaborate on the possible engine configuration, though he did say that it could be something unique and rather wild. He then went on to joke (?) about rotary engines and pneumatic valves.

Apparently there's already a significant sponsor lined up for the bike and, as Pandya emphasized, "it's going to be a strong effort... I gurantee you that."

As for the rider, Robert insisted he had no idea who will be riding what next year. It's possible that Troy Corser will move up to the 4-Stroke GP bike, leaving Regis Laconi to fend for the WSB title. Or might Aprilia hire another rider and, if so, for which series?

All we know is that with the way Aprilia is doing things lately and with all the strides they are making forward, their 4-Stroke GP effort should be one of the strongest in the field -- and we cannot wait to see what they have in store.

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Brent Avis
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