For Aprilia, the 1998 season was a real triumph. In the 250 class, we won the last 13 consecutive Grand Prix races, leaving only the opening race in Japan to the competitors.
Loris Capirossi won the Title with 224 points, ahead of the other two official riders Valentino Rossi with 201 points and Tetsuya Harada with 200 points, a 79 point lead over the best Honda rider, Ukawa.
The superiority of the Aprilia 250 was such that the steps of the podium were occupied by Aprilia riders a full four times (Italy, France, the Czech Republic and Catalonia) and we won pole position and the fastest lap 13 times.
With the help of Lucchi, the wild card, four Aprilias filled the complete front line in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany (third place Porto) and the Czech Republic.
Three Aprilias won the first three places on the starting grid in Malaysia (with the private Fuchs in pole position), France, Great Britain and Catalonia.
Obviously this enabled Aprilia to win the Manufacturer’s World Championship by a long head.
In the 125 class, Kazuto Sakata secured Aprilia another world championship title, with a lead of one Grand Prix, thanks to a fast and intelligent season during which he made his presence felt in Great Britain, France, Spain and Japan.
For Aprilia, 1998 was a phenomenal year. Manufacturer’s and Riders 250 World Championship (with the three official riders Capirossi, Rossi and Harada in the first three places) and 125 World Riders Championship with Sakata.
With the exception of the opening Grand Prix in Japan, Aprilia won all the thirteen remaining 250 races, often occupying all three steps of the podium.