Aprilia Sport Production: the school for young champions, from the 1980s to 2020

54 world titles alone is more than enough to justify the pride felt by Aprilia and all its fans, but even more reason is the way in which these victories, right from the very start, have been won: creating a true “school of champions”. 
Many of the most talented riders in modern motorcycle racing made their debut and learned how to win on the back of a Noale bike: Max BiaggiLoris CapirossiValentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Marco Melandri, Jorge Lorenzo, Marco Simoncelli and Manuel Poggiali, not to mention Roberto Locatelli, Tetsuya HaradaAlessandro Gramigni and Kazuto Sakata; just to refresh our memory.
Some of the youngest among us, however, won’t know that these riders, including Biaggi, Capirossi and Rossi, rose through the ranks between the 1980s and 1990s in the hard-fought and hugely popular Italian Sport Production (SP) Championship, riding 125 cc bikes strictly derived from production bikes and designed to allow very young enthusiasts to start speed racing. They are the first bikes on which these champions dreamed of what they would later become, the same ones that talented 16-year-old riders of the time rode every day between home and school, feeling a bit like a racer and – let’s face it – very cool.

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