Photo: The Aprilia Moto2 Racer that Never Was

01/11/2012 @ 11:09 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Aprilia’s bid to race in the Moto2 Championship was apparently very short-lived, as Italian moto site Infomoto2 has uncovered a photo of the project, that is of course before Piaggio executives killed the racing effort. Hoping to continue the brand’s domination in the middle-class of GP racing, Aprilia’s Moto2 effort surely suffered from the fact that a Honda CBR motor would reside inside the Italian company’s prototype machine. The conflict of interest is surely understandable, although admittedly Aprilia had no 600cc motor of its own to use for the Moto2 class. Still, a piece of “what could have been” racing history, if you squint hard enough you can see some of Aprilia’s other GP racing efforts in the bike’s design.

Back in 2010, the two-stroke based 250GP class was replaced by its four-stroke successor: Moto2. Dorna originally envisioned Moto2 to be more like the now-created Moto3 class, in which a small number of motor suppliers and custom chassis builders created bikes that GP teams would then race on relatively modest budgest. However, still an unproven formula at the time, the only OEM Dorna could get beg blackmail persuade to make the 600cc prototype class motors was Honda. The result is what we know today: a very evenly matched racing class that enjoys a grid of some 40+ bikes (cue appaluase).

Moto2, Moto3, and the new CRT rules for MotoGP are a response to the growing cost of GP racing. For 250GP, the a large portion of the reason for creating Moto2 stems from the absolute domination by Aprilia in the class, and the insurmountable amounts of money the company was asking from teams who wished to be competitive in 250cc prototype racing. With a grid fielded almost exclusively by Aprilia (it was a widely held belief that the Derbi bikes were just re-badged Aprilias as well), a team wishing to have a motorcycle that was actually capable of winning a race could expect to fork over a rumored €1 million per year to lease the equipment — that’s nearly half the cost of a satellite MotoGP bike.

Dorna had had enough of this arrangement, and Moto2 was born. Unable to get more OEMs involved with the change though, the Moto2 Championship suffers from being a rolling advertisement for Honda, which supplies the slightly modified CBR600RR spec motors for each Moto2 team. The result of the single-motor supplier situation compounded the problem with getting OEMs involved in the new racing class, as either none of the other factories wanted to race four-stroke 600cc prototype machines; or more importantly, none of the other OEMs wanted a Honda motor to be housed in their race bike.

Such was the case of the Aprilia Moto2 effort. Kiboshed by Piaggio executives, the Italian sport bike company did at least get far enough in its development process to build a machine that could race in Moto2. An amalgamation of Aprilia’s GP racing experience, the fairings look like they came straight off the ill-fated Aprilia RS3 Cube project, while the chassis is very similar to the Aprilia RSA 250 in its design. The Moto2 contender that never was, Aprilia left GP racing altogether, and reportedly dumped that budget into its World Superbike program.

We all know the story of WSBK and Aprilia in 2010, and how Max Biaggi won the World Championship for the Italian brand on the Aprilia RSV4. Now, the Aprilia RSV4 motor is becoming a class favorite with the CRT contingency in MotoGP. With the RSV4 motor widely regarded as being a repurposed MotoGP engine design from the 990cc era, it comes as no surprise then that the V4 lump would now find a home in MotoGP racing. With the news that Aprilia could also be building a prototype chassis around the RSV4 motor, it seems the cycle has come full-circle.

Source: Infomoto2

  • MikeD

    I don’t blame them at all.
    Where’s the pride of running a motorcycle with your name on it but with the heart and soul of another company bating inside ? EXACTLY…PRETTY POINTLESS…unless ur HELL BENT on making a point(what point?)…go figure.
    And then there’s the money problems, world wide recession…it all starts to make a little sense.

    I laugh at “THE HONDA CUP[Moto2]”…is like watching NASCAR….all look and pretty much run the same guts. PIUUUUCCK !!! Being different just went down the Toilet.

  • MikeD

    P.S: I totally disagree with this whole rumor thats been going around forever now of how the RSV4 Engine is a recycled MotoGP Engine…it’s nothing more than a high strung STREET MILL, there’s NOTHING EXOTIC about it…The thing is not even making the most HP or torque for crying out loud.

    That is truly a beasty motor…and they(Aprilia) should have never abandoned their RS3 Cube like a Prom Night Dumpster Baby.

  • Colin Edwards might disagree with you on that last point.

  • The v4 in the RSV is not a MotoGp motor because Aprilia raced a triple made by Cosworthin the Cube… That being said the Rsv4 i have has fantastic torque , great hp and awesome usebility.. By far the easiest and funniest bike too ride i have ever owned… Handles like a 600 but pulls like a 1000… HP doesn’t make a great bike if the package sucks…

  • MikeD

    That’s alright…he’s slowing down and had to do away with the “crumbles” [CRT BIKES]… not the WHOLE LOAF [REAL DEAL FACTORY BIKE].
    Yes, he rode the Cube…then again…the Cube scare the SHIT OUT OF HIM AND HAGA…specially Edwards that got a little TOASTY.
    He even went on to say the bike was borned “flawed”…sure dude…brush that dirt off your shoulder and blame the undeveloped monster bike…that already had pneumatic valves when all mighty Honda was still using valve springs and made at one time up to 260HP…(^_^)

  • MikeD

    Dc4go said:

    HP doesn’t make a great bike if the package sucks…

    Indeed, but it sure let the others know what u made off. Shitty-handling Aircraft carrier comes to mind.

  • Westward

    I’m an avid watcher of Moto2, in fact, I thinks its the purest and most entertaining series I have watched the last two years.

    I still don’t know if Biaggi won WSBK or the RSV4. Then when the rules changed on them in 2011, Checa and Ducati put them back in their place (note: Checa would have won a few more races in 2010 had the engine not failed him)…

    Same goes for MGP. The only reason Stoner and Pedrosa didn’t battle to the wire, was because Pedrosa raced injured all season long. Lorenzo benefited from this and came in second in points. Otherwise, Everyone knew a Honda was going to win, and the odds on favourite was Stoner, since he is the second best Alien on the best bike.

    Had Rossi been on a Yamaha or a Honda, the championship would not have seemed like such a cake walk…

    Moto2 had 6 different winners compared to 4 in MGP, and almost every race was a nail-bitting experience, the same cannot be said for the premiere class…

  • mxs

    The problem Mike is having with Moto2 is I guess the fact that it’s hard to pull away, because the package is limiting to a degree. Hence you see very close finish all the time. Different winners, but close finish most of the time.

    I get the Nascar remark … it’s fun to see the back and forth, but after a while I go like … “Is anybody going to run away with it or what???” and than the guy who was 4th at the beginning of the last lap wins …

  • Edward K

    The Aprilia is a mighty fine bike… The only thing I am having problem with is that if Aprilia is constructing the chassis and the motor, wouldn’t that make them a factory team and relegate them to building a pure prototype?

  • MikeD

    My beef with Moto2 is that STINKIN Honda 600cc I4 that everyone is “forced” to run. Why not let the others run their own 600-ish motors on their own bikes ? Let them be proud of their products and represent.

    All for one and one for all…in the most f*&% up way possible.
    That ain’t prototype racing…is more like Prototype FRAMES Racing.
    B.S…take those rules and shove them where the Sun never shines.
    Moto GP will be the same…….give time time.

    Westward: U have a point(s) Sir.

    MXS: U somehow got me… i was bitching more about how everyone runs the same but maybe frames and body decals(see above)…hence the Nascar sample…your reasoning makes a lot of sence too.

    Edward K: Dude, u lost me…(o_O)’
    Are u talking about the bike pictured here or the RSV4 ?

  • You can always tell when someone doesn’t read the whole article. Moto2 was not supposed to be a spec-engine series. Instead, Honda was the only OEM willing to supply enough motors for 15 teams or more. If it wasn’t for this 15 team requirement in Moto2 and Moto3, we’d be right back to where we are already in MotoGP, and that means grid sizes under 20.

  • My Rsv4 dyno’s at 180 to the wheels with an exhaust and has tons of torque and sounds AMAZING!! Doesn’t have more HP than a BMW but I like alot more so thats all tha matters to me.. My Desmo has more hp but the Aprillia is tons more fun at track events!!

  • MikeD

    I give up…all of u who still love your MotoGP as is/was now….ENJOY IT….cause it won’t be like that for long. It will be nothing but a fleet of many Mutts(CRTs) and no genuine pedegree left if any ( maybe 3-4 factory bikes ?)…like the Honda Cup(Moto 2).

  • Im with MikeD moto2 is full of bikes and sponsors but not really into the Honda Cup!! Variety in engines, chassis and tires is what i like to see.. Bet Motogp would be alot closer racing if Bridgestone made a larger variety of tires for all the factories to use… Operating window seems way to small for 5 different bikes…

  • MikeD

    Dc4go says:
    Variety in engines, chassis and tires is what i like to see…

    Xactly my reason for bitchin.

    Not so much anymore the OUTDOORS TESTING LAB it used to be 10 years ago….is it ?

    May as well call it supersport…they already have the CC’s and stock engines…LOL.