Aprilia Defense of AMA Supermoto Unlimited Titles

March 12, 2008 6:37am

Reigning Team and Individual Champions Set For Upcoming Season

NEW YORK, March 12, 2008 – Aprilia’s Factory Rip It Energy Fuel Racing team looks to defend its 2007 individual championship when the AMA Supermoto Unlimited series gets underway in April.

Reigning individual riders champion Benny Carlson of West Bend, WI will compete on an Aprilia SXV 4.5 in the 450 class, and will be joined by team manager Darryl Atkins of San Clemente, California, aboard an Aprilia SXV 5.5 in the unlimited class.  Atkins returns to action, having recuperated from an injury that kept him out of last year’s season finale.  During his absence at the final event, World Supermoto Championship competitor Kevin Bethome and AMA Flat Track competitor Henry Wiles stepped in to guarantee Aprilia the team championship for the unlimited class in 2007.

This formidable team will compete in the eight-stop AMA Supermoto series, as well as two ESPN events. Scheduled to get underway on April 11-12 at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, the season will extend over five months, with races in Seattle; Los Angeles; Hartford, Connecticut; Shawano, Wisconsin; Tooele, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Successfully competing in the AMA Pro series is extremely important to Aprilia, as it provides us with the opportunity to showcase the various performance capabilities of our SXV line,” stated Aprilia Brand Manager Rick Panettieri.  “These bikes incorporate a whole series of innovations designed to improve reliability, decrease weight and increase performance.”

Since its debut, the world’s first twin cylinder supermotard has been constantly developed and perfected by the immense technical know-how of Aprilia Racing and the vast experience of many times world champion Thierry Van Den Bosch. Because of this, race after race and season after season the SXV has been improved.

The Factory Aprilia Rip It Energy Fuel Racing team is supported by Aprilia USA, Rip It Energy Fuel, Dunlop Motorcycles Tires, Parts Unlimited, Bel-Ray oils, Beringer brakes, Groove wines, Race Tech, Scott goggles, Thor, Alpinestars, Renthal, Asterisk, K&N Air Filters, Works Connection, Suzuka Tire Warmers, AF1 Racing, Regina Chain, Ogio bags, Mechanix wear, East Coast Wheels, ZLT, Pit Bull, G2, CR&A, Acerbis, TecBolts, Alpina Wheels, Ap Designs, Power Commander/Dyno Jet.

About Aprilia and Piaggio Group Americas

Aprilia world headquarters are in Noale (Venice, Italy).  Founded in 1962, the company designs and manufactures motorcycles in Noale, with additional production facilities in Scorzè.  With 36 motorcycling world championship titles (30 road and 6 off-road) under its belt, Aprilia is the only European manufacturer to have a complete on- and off-road model portfolio, ranging from sporty scooters, innovative off-road bikes and tough adventure tourers to award-winning super sport bikes.  For information on Aprilia's complete U.S. model line, visit the company's website at www.apriliausa.org.

In December 2004 Aprilia became part of the Piaggio Group, Europe's leading manufacturer of two wheelers and one of the world's most recognized and respected names in motorcycle and scooter production.

With over 6,700 employees, an annual production of more than 680,000 vehicles, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia, and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2 wheeler market.  Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands.