The 2002 season of the World Motorcycling Championships will go down in history for the record breaking achievements of Aprilia, the marque from the Veneto region of northern Italy. Aprilia won 4 of the 6 available world titles in the 2002 season: the manufacturers’ titles for the 125 and 250 classes plus two riders’ titles won by Marco Melandri in the 250 and Arnaud Vincent in the 125 class. This extraordinary year saw the two stroke machines from Aprilia’s glorious Noale Racing Section dominate on the world’s speed circuits, boosting the number of world titles under Aprilia’s belt to 21.
While Aprilia’s 125 machines won 8 out of the 16 races in the championship calendar, the supremacy of Aprilia’s 250s was simply crushing. These machines won an incredible 14 out of the season’s 16 races, showing indisputable domination of the racing scene.
In its relatively brief racing history, Aprilia has already accumulated 140 track victories, 59 in the 125 class and 81 in the 250 class, and has seen its riders climb on to the podium an incredible 392 times. On top of this there are the marque’s 8 Superbike victories, 7 Superbike Superpoles, and 16 European titles (6 in 125 racing and 10 in 250 competitions).
Noriyuki Haga, who will be wearing official Aprilia colours in next season’s GP, was one of last season’s most spectacular protagonists in World Superbike racing. Riding for the FGF Aprilia team in the season that finished last September, Nori delighted the public with his uniquely spectacular repertory in courageous battles against the eventual world title winner, the talented Colin Edwards. Having both riders in the Aprilia team next season will certainly ensure thrills all round.
So Goodbye to 2002, an intense and rewardingly successful year of racing!