After getting the nod to use their gear driven camshaft in World Superbike racing (shown above is the Aprilia’s belt driven camshaft), Aprilia has become a tour de force on the WSBK grid. Aprilia first used the gear driven cams in race environment while at the Miller Motorsports Park round, much to the protest of the other teams.
Aprilia and Max Biaggi have been on a bender since the new camshaft’s implementation, with the Aprilia RSV4 going double-double (no, not that Double-Double) and winning every race since the gear driven camshaft was installed on the race bike.
Not that Biaggi and Aprilia were looking shabby before Miller Motorsports Park, taking a double at Monza and a double at Portimao, but part of the reason that RSV4 Factory has been so dominate since is because the gear driven camshafts are boosting the RSV4’s power by three to five horsepower, virtually throughout the entire rev range. With this added power boost occurring, it’s clear now why the other teams in World Superbike opposed Aprilia using the new camshaft.
However, since the gear driven camshaft is a purchasable part by consumers in the Aprilia Racing catalog, WSBK had no choice but to admit that Aprilia was within the parameters of the rule book. Aprilia even gave the other teams the consideration of not using the camshaft for five races, moving the implementation from Portimao to Miller Motorsports Park.
With this kind of advantage, it’s also clear now why Leon Haslam is urging for Suzuki Japan to throw more resources into its World Superbike program. Likely fearing that the Suzuki GSX-1000R has lost its edge on the RSV4 Factory, Haslam could make up his 37 point deficit more easily should Suzuki find a similar 3-5 horsepower in the Japanese inline-four motor.
With World Superbike racing next at Brno on July 11th, we won’t have to wait long to see if Aprilia can make it three doubles in a row. Should that occur, Suzuki and all the other teams, will have to come up with an answer to the RSV4’s new found power.