With an official Superbike team for the first time, Aprilia amazed everyone. Troy Corser won a full five victories (and four superpoles) with the RSV 1000, arriving a hair's breadth away from the title. An exceptional result for a company which entered the world four stroke championship only recently, fruit of extraordinary mechanics and an ever more powerful engine - as well, of course, as the class of a great rider.
This year, Aprilia has again confirmed its winning nature, with Roberto Locatelli winning the 15th world 125 cc championship title in its history. Aprilia has also brought its number of Grand Prix successes to 111, plus five Superbike triumphs.
Eight 125 cc victories, two 250 cc victories, five SBK wins and 500 podium places - wherever Aprilia has competed, in whatever category, the company and its riders have always shone, evidence of winning technology, organisation and spirit.
Roberto Locatelli brought the 125 cc title back to Noale. This is the oldest, the first, the 1992 win which paved the way for the series of victories and the Aprilia racing legend - 15 titles (10 rider's and five constructor's) in nine seasons are a rich booty which Aprilia intends to boost even further in the future. Roberto Locatelli's five wins, the two wins by his colleague in the Vasco Rossi Team, Simone Sanna and the win by Frenchman Arnaud Vincent have put Aprilia way ahead with eight successes in sixteen races.
In the 250 cc class, things did not go as well as in 1999. However, it had been expected that the investment in a very young rider (not yet seventeen and a half at the beginning of the season) with no specific experiences such as Marco "Macio" Melandri would require a certain time to begin to bear fruit. After a cautious start, by mid-season, it might already have been possible to see the first satisfactions if Macio had not fallen victim to a series of three really unlucky races. It was not until after the summer break, his 18th birthday and the change of number from 13 to 35 that the satisfactions began to arrive: four podium places, the record for the youngest rider ever to climb onto the 250 cc podium and confirmation of his class. So while Melandri prepared for 2001, the seasoned Waldmann brought the company two wins as proof that the bike is as competitive as ever.
In the 500 cc class, Jeremy McWilliams from Northern Island fired the imagination more than once and added a further two podium places (at Mugello and Donington) to the triumphs of the RSW-2 500, whose career ended at Phillip Island in Australia on October 29, 2000. From now on, Aprilia will be committing maximum energy, inventiveness, passion and investment to opening the 2002 season ready for the GP1 class, the 500 of the future which will bring the four-strokes back onto the tracks. This is a new challenge with a technological content never before seen in the history of motorcycling and how could Aprilia refuse.