Aprilia Wins 86th Annual Pike’s Peak Hill Climb Davey Durrelle Easily Outdistances The Competition

COLORADO SPRINGS –July 24, 2008 – An Italian bike—the Aprilia SXV 5.5—easily outdistanced a competitive field to earn victory in the 86th annual Pike’s Peak Race to the Clouds: America’s most famous, toughest and most spectacular hill climb.  The Aprilia SXV 5.5 recorded the best time of any motorcycle, and left even the winner of the 1200 cc class trailing in the distance by a full 23 seconds.

Aboard the SXV 5.5, the twin cylinder supermotard that revolutionized the world of off-road motorcycling, rider Davey Durelle surpassed machines with far bigger engines in the 750cc class. This victory was made even more extraordinary by an official time of 11 minutes, 42.9 seconds.

‘This is really a great victory for us and would not have been possible without the assistance of members from the Aprilia flat track team, the Aprilia Supermoto team, and the local Aprilia dealer’ said Rick Panettieri, Aprilia brand manager. ‘Davey is a great rider and earned this awesome victory’.

Another Aprilia competitor, Paul Thede, finished fifth with a time of 12 minutes, 34.4 seconds aboard an SXV 4.5 in the Supermoto class, which consisted mostly of highly modified motocross machines while Paul was riding a bike based upon the street legal Aprilia SXV.

This historic win for Aprilia was supplemented by an impressive fifth place for Italian rider Andrea Padovani on a stock Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro. The latest addition to the Aprilia range, the SMV750 Dorsoduro had no qualms at all about taking on all comers–including specialist hill climb machines–over a difficult and slippery course on a bike designed for everyday roads and normal life. The result was unexpected and spectacular: the Dorsoduro supermotard, with its advanced chassis and futuristic electronic engine management system, roared ahead of many bikes designed and specially prepared for high speed off-road riding.

Cristian Lancellotti, riding another Aprilia SXV 5.5, finished in eighth place, underlining Aprilia’s superiority over a course that has no equals elsewhere in the world, rising from 9,000 feet to over 14,000 feet above sea level in 12.4 miles. Traversing mostly asphalt, the course’s last section–the legendary Devil’s Playground–takes riders off-road up one of the highest mountains in the United States. With 156 breath-taking bends riders go up through the clouds on roads overlooking sheer cliffs.

“I am extremely happy with our end result from the event, it was the first professional attempt for Aprilia at this prestigious hill climb event. Being such a unique event we had to do a lot of pre race arrangements but the end result makes it all worthwhile. My congratulations go out to Davey for the awesome win and Andrea, Cristian and Paul for their brave and successful performances” Darryl Atkins  Team owner and manager of the Factory Aprilia Rip it Supermoto Team, commented after the race.

Famed as ‘The Race to the Clouds’, this unique Colorado event and festival of motorcycling is held annually every July, and provides a unique test for men and machines.  The event attracts all sorts of vehicles from rally cars, open wheel cars and 4x4s of up to nearly 1000 HP, and 3000 HP trucks. Motorcycles including quads and sidecar outfits with super-tuned engines.

Aprilia’s SXV 5.5 supermotard is a concentration of advanced technology and features a superbly rigid frame made from a tubular steel trellis with aluminum side plates, and an innovative, powerful, compact and lightweight 77° V twin engine. The Aprilia SXV 5.5 won the AMA Supermotard Unlimited class in 2007, thanks to unrivalled chassis design, a variable section aluminum swingarm and top quality components.  The race results at Pikes Peak again proves the awesome performance of this street bike in various forms of racing from Supermoto to flat track, road racing and now hill climbs.

The Aprilia 750 Dorsoduro motard is a concentration of Aprilia’s GP and supermotard experience. Powered by a 750 cc engine developing 95 HP, and controlled by second generation ride-by-wire technology, the Dorsoduro combines power and agility, sports character and essential lines, and takes the best from racing supersport and supermotard design. This distillation of performance and technology is capable of delivering unrivalled fun and riding satisfaction. The SMV 750 Dorsoduro will be available in US dealerships this fall.

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 36 motorcycling world championship titles (30 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.

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