Aprilia raise the trophy: Single-make series will showcase new RS660 sportsbike
Aprilia’s new RS660 looks poised to trigger a supersport renaissance with its 99bhp twin-cylinder engine and pinpoint handling combined with real-world practicality.
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Luckily for those who are desperate to take an RS660 racing, there’s now a six-race, single-make championship where the bike can show what it’s got… in Italy. The Aprilia Racing RS660 Trophy is set to shadow the Italian domestic racing series (CIV) starting in May at Misano.
Half of the 42-bike grid will form the Challenge Class, for entrants who have bought their own special racing RS660 Trofeo costing €17,950 (around £15,800). This is an open class for those of all ages (starting from 15) who manage their own garages and mechanical needs.
The other half of the grid will be part of the Aprilia Racing Area, which costs €34,900 (around £30,700) plus VAT to join. These riders simply need to get themselves to the race meeting and draw lots for a bike, everything else will be taken care of as part of the manufacturer package.
"The RS660 is a bike with an outstanding dynamic balance," said Aprilia Racing CEO, Massimo Rivola. "Here at Aprilia Racing we decided to use it and move it straight away into a track competition that falls perfectly in line with our commitment to drawing young riders into racing.
"Last year, the small Sport Production championship made its debut. Now we want to create a consistent path of growth which, starting from the RS250 SP, can move on to the RS660 Trophy, intended for ambitious young people who always have the MotoGP dream in mind."
The race bikes will have a number of upgrades aimed at improving track performance, too. A new exhaust comes courtesy of SC Project and a Sprint Filter will free an extra few horses, taking power to around 103.5bhp.
The Aprilia’s already impressive handling will be improved further with Öhlins suspension front and rear and dedicated racing pads fitted to the Brembo calipers. Tyre duties are taken on by Pirelli and the race bikes are shod with Supercorsa V3 SC1 rubber which has a much softer compound than the road bike.
The road bike’s slightly relaxed riding position is ditched in favour of raised pegs and lowered clip-ons and fibreglass bodywork by Cruciata Racing replaces the standard plastics, painted by GP partners Carrozzeria Zanasi.
The race series may be limited to Italy for now, but with the Supersport class dwindling away and relying in many cases on outdated models, plus a TT Lightweight rule change that would have seen the RS660 able to compete this year (if the racing had gone ahead) this could well be something that other domestic championships look at as a support class.