The 250 class is once again talking Italian, thanks to the stupendous Aprilia RSW and Valentino Rossi: after a somewhat unhappy start (remember the last lap of the French Grand Prix when the chain broke?), the Italian combination dominated, almost always showing itself to be faster than all adversaries and winning on a full nine occasions.
Behind Valentino, other unofficial Aprilias often stood out with riders such as Battaini, Waldmann, McWilliams and Lucchi helping the company to win the manufacturers’ title as well.
In the 125 class, Aprilia failed to repeat the 1998 title win, but Locatelli with two victories, Scalvini also with two and Vincent with one showed that Aprilia is consistently competitive, even in the lower class, and with a little more luck, could have been a contender for the World Championship title.
About halfway through the season, the courageous 500 project went through a brilliant period. At Donington in the English Grand Prix, Harada brought it closer to victory than ever before, then the podium conquered by Paul Ricard and the fourth places at Mugello (where we gained pole position) and in Catalonia. The challenge continues.