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Motorcycle Rally: Is This Aprilia’s Year?

  Posted at 08:00:00 AM
  File under  Aprilia Racing
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
click to see Egypt on a map

Aprilia logo
At the 2010 Dakar earlier this year, Aprilia Open link in a new window motorcycles made a big impression. Chilean racer Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez Open link in a new window  was amazing, but so was his motorcycle. Finishing third overall is an incredible feat. It was an early sign that KTM should start looking towards the Italian motorcycle manufacturer as a serious competitor. Many people thought that the menace would come from the East, specially from Yamaha. But Aprilia have shown that their rally motorcycle is strong and very fast.

Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez on his Aprilia
Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez on his Aprilia

To prove the point, Chaleco drew first blood in the Pharaons Rally Open link in a new window in Egypt. The Pharaons is always seen as one of the main testing grounds for the Dakar racers, and you'll see most of the top riders participating in the race. Well, Chaleco won the first stage yesterday, with a 5 minute lead over number two, the Portuguese racer Helder Rodrigues Open link in a new window.

Francisco Lopez: "It was a fast and beautiful stage. I profit that I started behind and I went full gas, always keeping things under control. The road book has many changes of direction. I started 37th and I got out the special stage 4th. I must say it was a wonderful way of starting. "

Pharaons 2010 Aprilia Chaleco Team
Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez with his Aprilia team

So maybe the 2011 Dakar will not be all KTMs, and we might even see an Aprilia winning the event.

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