After making its competitive Motocross debut in 1975, Aprilia enters the Motorcycle World Championship, taking on the seemingly invincible Japanese in the 250 class. The date is 23 March 1985 when Loris Reggiani finishes in twelfth place at Kyalami, South Africa. Just a few months later he takes third place on the winners' podium at Rijeka. The Aprilia engine undergoes further evolution and on 30 August 1987 Reggiani and his AF1 250 notch up their first Grand Prix win.
1991 sees radical change for the Aprilia 250 with the advent of the RS250V. This new bike loses no time in demonstrating its outstanding performance and is entrusted to Max Biaggi, a talented newcomer who wins the European 250. In the same year, Aprilia also chalks up its first victory in the 125 class with Alessandro Gramigni, who goes on to take the company's first Grand Prix title, becoming World Champion in 1992.
And then comes 1994, a glorious year. Max Biaggi triumphs in Australia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Barcelona and is crowned 250 World Champion on his Aprilia. That same year, Kazuto Sakata becomes the 125 World Champion, winning in Australia, Spain and the Czech Republic, once again on an Aprilia.
Last, but not least, Aprilia makes its debut in the 500 class with an innovative twin-cylinder.
In 1997 Valentina Rossi is the new Aprilia standard bearer and he dominates the smallest class as he racks up 11 victories in 15 races. The following year Aprilia wins 13 out of 14 Grand Prix in the 250 class, with only the inaugural Japanese race left as a consolation for the competition. So complete is Aprilia's 250 domination that all three podium positions are filled by its riders four times. 1999 also belongs to Rossi who wins the 250 title and 9 races astride the extraordinary Aprilia RSW twin-cylinder.
In 2002 Aprilia cleans up the Motorcycle World Championships in the 125 and 250 classes, taking both manufacturer and rider honours in both, with Marco Melandri in the 250 and Arnaud Vincent in the 125. But it is in the 250 class that Aprilia proves truly devastating, winning 14 out of 16 races. The same year sees the debut of the three-cylinder RS Cube which makes its first outing in the newly-created MotoGP class.
After becoming part of the Piaggio Group and benefiting from a reorganisation of its racing division, Aprilia experiences its best ever season in 2006, ending the year with six world titles. The following season sees it adding five titles to its tally, but the real revolution comes in 2009 with the RSV4, a superbike with an incredible 1000-cc four-cylinder 60° V engine.
In 2010 the pinnacle is reached in WSBK with Max Biaggi and the RSV4 teaming up in a quest to conquer the world. There is no holding them back and after a great run, Imola is the location where Max Biaggi becomes the first Italian Superbike World Champion.
The 2012 Superbike season is an absolute triumph for Aprilia, right from the opening race in Australia where Max Biaggi takes the honours and continues to lead the competition for almost the entire championship. it all comes down to the last curve of the final race... Max finishes in fifth place, a position that enables him to hold a slight advantage over Sykes, and he is crowned World Champion for the second time in his Superbike career. it is his sixth world title and five of these have come on the seat of an Aprilia.
What's more, with 101 World Championship titles under its belt (Aprilia 51, Moto Guzzi 15, Derbi 21 and Gilera 14), the Piaggio Group becomes the European motorcycle manufacturer with the most wins of all time.
The 2015 season sees the return of Aprilia to the MotoGP class a year earlier than anticipated. Then, at the end of the following year, Aprilia is ready to compete in the best possible way with the Aprilia RS-GP, the first MotoGP bike entirely designed and built by the company's racing division, right from the exclusive "narrow" V4 engine which has by now become the Aprilia hallmark.
Technological development and performance continue to be raised, the number of titles won shows no sign of abating, and the extraordinary skill of its engineers delivers outstanding results for Aprilia today, just as over the past decades, creating new benchmarks, breaking more records and ensuring whoever sits astride its bikes is a true winner.