NEW YORK, NY – December 18, 2008 – Aprilia USA, the North American importer and distributor of Aprilia sport bikes, announces the debut of an all-new factory-sponsored road racing team in the new 2009 AMA Daytona SportBike class, part of the 2009 AMA Superbike Championship series. The Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies team will be managed exclusively by KWS Motorsports and will compete on the Aprilia RSV 1000R. The 12-race Daytona SportBike class premieres at the historic, first-ever night-time running of the Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway, March 6.
With the debut of Italy’s Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano onboard Aprilia’s much anticipated new RSV4 superbike in the 2009 World Superbike series, Aprilia USA is considering its rookie season on the Daytona SportBike circuit as an important American circuit test bed for 2010.
“With a new team structure, new riders and the new RSV4 en route for 2010, a season’s worth of preparation with KWS and real-world racing experience for Aprilia USA at this level has tremendous benefits,” said Rick Panettieri, brand manager, Aprilia USA. “The current-model RSV has long been respected for its race-bred DNA and its precise and predictable handling under even the most aggressive riding conditions, which has made it a favorite among track day enthusiasts. We chose KWS Motorsports as a racing partner for their expertise in creating top-performing race and production bikes. This will ensure that the RSV is tuned to give the competition a real challenge.”
Designed to promote close racing action, the new Daytona SportBike series features a variety of high-performance motorcycles, with four-cylinder, triple-cylinder and twin-cylinder engines.
Ben Thompson will be returning to the KWS team as the primary rider as well as 2008 KWS crew chief Michael Godin. Thompson, who previously rode on Aprilia’s Moto-ST team at Daytona Motor Speedway, will be teamed with another, yet to be announced second rider. Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies team manager, Chip Spalding, is currently in discussions with both riders and sponsors and can be contacted for additional information at the company’s headquarters at email@example.com.
“After several successful seasons in AMA Superbike and Superstock, launching a factory Daytona SportBike program for Aprilia is a real thrill,” said Spalding. “Daytona under the lights is the perfect way to start what we know will be a memorable series.”
“We are very proud to partner with Aprilia USA and are extremely excited to have the RSV in our race shop,” said team owner Kevin Hunt. “Great racing in this series starts with a strong production sport bike and the RSV definitely exceeds that criteria.” The team will also be supported by long time KWS sponsor Millennium Technologies, the world renowned leader in the field of cylinder repair and replating.
About Aprilia and Piaggio Group Americas
Aprilia world headquarters are in Noale (Venice, Italy). Founded in 1962, the company designs and manufactures motorcycles in Noale, with production facilities in Scorzè. With 38 motorcycling world championship titles (32 road and 6 off-road) under its belt, Aprilia is the only European manufacturer to have a complete on- and off-road model portfolio, ranging from sporty scooters, innovative off-road bikes and tough adventure tourers to award-winning super sport bikes. For information on Aprilia’s complete U.S. model line, visit the company’s website at www.apriliausa.com.
In December 2004 Aprilia became part of the Piaggio Group, Europe’s leading manufacturer of two wheelers and one of the world’s most recognized and respected names in motorcycle and scooter production.
With approximately 7,000 employees, approximately 708,500 vehicles sold in 2007, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia, and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2 wheeler market. Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands.
About KWS Motorsports
KWS Motorsports is a full service race shop specializing in high performance late model fuel-injected sportbikes and sportbike engines. The company’s mission is to provide customers the most powerful, lightest, and fastest motorcycles and motorcycle powered vehicles in the world. KWS was founded in 1993 by motorcycle racer Kevin Hunt and is a company run and staffed by motorcycle racers with over 30 years of racing experience and knowledge. KWS-built engines have been credited with several world top speed records, professional road racing championships, club racing championships, and hundreds of race wins.