MotoGP Aprilia, Aleix Espargaro like Biaggi and Colaninno applaud

The first success of Noale in MotoGP, with the Spaniard in Argentina, evokes the historic Superbike title of Max, in 2010, even then against the big, more titled and favored manufacturers. Aprilia is experiencing a happy moment: the message from the Piaggio president, Roberto Colaninno, to the rider after the GP certifies the reach of the finish line

Massimo Falcioni

– Milan

The saying “A swallow does not make spring” certainly does not apply to Aprilia which, after its first victory in MotoGP, with Aleix Espargaro in Argentina, has what it takes to do an encore in some other world championship round and remain among the protagonists of a hard-fought and exciting world championship. Obviously, nothing is taken for granted: the RS-GP will not be the bike to beat today, but undoubtedly it is a new protagonist with which all the rivals must compete: it is the one that has grown the most in the last two seasons, strong on every circuit, great engine and excellent chassis, balanced, able to make the most of the tires in different conditions. But the main strength of Aprilia lies in the team, able to hold out and remain united even in the long difficult phases, supported by the parent company, Piaggio, whose leaders, perhaps without externalization, have always believed in the MotoGP project. Now we need not to delude ourselves and stay focused to give continuity, not to suffer any negative repercussions by losing the “concessions” with the related technical benefits.

the story, from beggio to …

Talking about Aprilia, a company founded immediately after the end of the Second World War by Alberto Beggio and then since 1968 led by the late Ivano Beggio, means talking about tricolor pride, a synthesis of the competence and creativity of Made in Italy. It is an important piece of Italian and international motorcycling, as evidenced by the roll of honor after 48 years of competitions: 56 world titles won in various championships, with 294 world championship GPs, 52 victories and 172 podiums in the SBK world championship, as well as to 8 victories in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup. Aprilia begins its adventure in the great races in 1974, in the motocross world championship, continuing in the 1985 trial world championship, when the adventure in the 250 world championship begins with Loris Reggiani. In 1992 Aprilia struck victories in races and championships, starting from the 125 class with Alessandro Gramigni followed by Kazuto Sakata (1994-1998), Valentino Rossi (1997), Roberto Locatelli (2000), Arnaud Vincent (2002), Alvaro Bautista (2006) , Gabor Talmacsi (2007), Julian Simon (2009), Nicolas Terol (2011). And in the 250cc world championship with the trio of Max Biaggi (1994, 1995, 1996), Loris Capirossi (1998), Valentino Rossi (1999), Marco Melandri (2002), Manuel Poggiali (2003), Jorge Lorenzo (2006, 2007). In 1994 he made his debut in 500 and then in MotoGP, until his temporary retirement in 2004, with the great return to the premier class in 2015 in partnership with Fausto Gresini’s team and the riders Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri, later replaced by Stefan Bradl. In 2017 Aleix Espargaro arrives together with Sam Lowes, then joined in 2018 by Scott Redding and in 2019 by Andrea Iannone. In 2022, by surprise, from Yamaha, Maveric Vinales after in 2021 at Silverstone Aleix Espargaro, third, gives Aprilia the first podium in the MotoGP world championship.

an undertaking, as with biaggi

This year, once the collaboration with Team Gresini has ended, the new 4-cylinder RS-GPs are managed by the official Aprilia team which in the Argentine GP celebrates pole position and first place in the race with Aleix Espargaro: first victory in the premier class , both for the Spanish driver and for the Italian manufacturer. A triumph that marks the history of motorcycling and that honors its past even more, first of all Loris Reggiani’s first center in 250 in the San Marino GP in Misano in 1987, thirty-five years ago, and that first world championship won in the 125cc thirty years ago with Gramigni. A magic, that of 3 April 2022 with Aleix Espargaro, which forces Aprilia to keep their feet on the ground, but leaves the fans of the Italian manufacturer freedom of imagination and unlimited dreams, up to the maximum of goals. Aleix Espargaro’s feat in Argentina brings us back to another Aprilia feat, that of 12 years ago with Max Biaggi, when in 2010 in the Imola round, after the double at Monza, he won the title of champion of the world of Superbike. After 22 years of Superbike Biaggi was the first Italian rider to win the maximum laurel in the series derivatives, the first SBK world title also for Aprilia. That of Biaggi and Aprilia was an undertaking that has positively marked the history of great motorcycling, which has been good for sport and for the country.

the call from colaninno

Aprilia with Biaggi won a challenge that most considered unrealistic, considering the Roman rider now “finished” and the Noale manufacturer inadequate for such a clash, like an earthenware pot in the midst of steel vessels in front of the large houses officially lined up such as BMW, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati. Was it not like this, in a different context, also in MotoGP, until the triumph of April 3 at Termas de Rio Hondo? How can we forget that Aprilia’s return to MotoGP in 2015 which in the first official tests scored mediocre times with Alvaro Bautista (over the 15th time) and with Marco Melandri he suffered a gap of over 4 seconds from Marquez, doubting that the manufacturer di Noale was able to support a strategic project to participate in the world championship of the premier class at least with dignity and not as a “black jersey”? Thus, finally abandoning the logic of the glass half full and given the situation without screens or distorting lenses, that turning point was impressed, not only technical and organizational, but conceptual, which places Aprilia at least on par with the rival manufacturers. Of all this, and it is not really a little, we must acknowledge Aleix Espargaro, Romano Albesiano, Massimo Rivola and the entire racing department where finally every gear is in its place, making the whole car run at its best. This was possible thanks to the Piaggio top management who were able to swallow toads without closing the shop and even relaunching. In this sense, the phone call from Roberto Colaninno to Aleix Espargaro, immediately after the triumphal race at Termas de Rio Hondo, assumes particular value, beyond any formality. A message, that of the Piaggio president, which speaks for itself.

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