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Aprilia World Superbike Caught Cheating?

Friday, March 5, 2010
Max Biaggis Aprilia RSV 2010 colors
Aprilia's 2010 RSV4 World Superbike got more than just a new paint job for this season
In the opening round of the World Superbike championship at Phillip Island, the factory Aprilia squad introduced a new specification engine. The new RSV4 race enigne features gear driven cams instead of chain driven cams, which are on the homologated road bike.

Aprilia claim that the rules allow them to make the change to gear driven cams and that they also gained approval from the FIM (the sport’s governing body) to introduce the new technology. Gear driven cams are generally unused on road bikes due to their high cost but are regularly seen in the world of MotoGP – not WSB.

At Phillip Island rival manufacturers met to discuss Aprilia’s use of the gear driven cams and then stated their argument to Aprilia boss Gigi Dall’agna.

The rules state: “The method of cam drive must remain as homologated unless a complete kit is available through normal commercial channels. These kits must be available in significant quantity and be listed in the racing spare parts book.”

But the 2010 rulebook also includes an addition which says: “Aftermarket or modified cam drive components are allowed, however the cam drive must be in the homologated location and the system must be as homologated.”

2009 British Superbike Champion Leon Camier continues his work on getting familiar with the Aprilia machine.
Aprilia riders Leon Camier (pictured) and Max Biaggi will not be penalized for using the questionable engines at the opening round, but the new engine may be banned from here on out. A decision will be rendered by the next round March 26th.
It remains unclear whether either Max Biaggi or Leon Camier used the new engine in the race, but Biaggi is believed to have used it during practice and qualifying.

The matter has now gone to the SBK commission for clarification with a decision expected before the second round of the championship in Portimao, Portugal on 26th to 28th of March.

Despite rival teams clearly not wanting Aprilia to gain any further advantage in the engine department – the RSV4 is already the fastest bike in the championship – no protests were lodged at the end of the race. That means that Aprilia won’t be penalized but could be told they cannot use the engine again.

Confirmation from the FIM and the SBK commission is expected in the next week. Stay tuned as we will keep you updated with the outcome as soon as it's announced.

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Philippe Debarle -Aprilia WSBK  March 8, 2010 11:14 PM
Hi, Regarding "Aprilia World Superbike Caught Cheating?" the new engine has been homolgated in December 2009 (see http://www.fim-live.com/fileadmin/alfresco/Communiques_de_presse/Listing_of_FIM_homologated_motorcycles_for_2010_updates_26-02-10.pdf) It's called the Factory 2. Best regards, Philippe
Derek -Aprilia - Forward Thinking  March 7, 2010 07:48 AM
You see these types of issues happen everytime a forward thinking manufacture trys to improve the quality of a bike, performance, and the sport as a whole! Example the Aprilia MXV 450, AMA pro Motocross will not allow the bike to compete in AMA Supercross or Motocross, Because it is to forward thinking in terms of technology and the Japanese manufactures would protest! But they race the bike in Europe under FIM rules! The AMA is under FIM!
RSVDan -There is no issue!  March 6, 2010 11:21 AM
I don't understand where the issue is. The gears have been available through the "Kit Motore WSBK" catalog since the bike became availble, along with a plethora of other parts. They're not cheap, but they are available to anyone with the money. Everything is above board here. Sensationalist journalism even makes it way into the motorcycle world.
Dan -RE: sewer rat  March 6, 2010 07:07 AM
Hey Mcguire, don't have an aprilia, but I hear you. I had a shop tell me when I picked a bike up from a service that they couldn't sync the carbs because they didn't have a manual...no luck trying to get my money back, was glad the thing didn't catch fire or seize on the way home.
KFD -No one to get it serviced...?  March 5, 2010 04:26 PM
Hey McGuire: It's called a Cam-Am Dealership. Where do you think the Can Am Spyder gets its power from? There is the Haynes manual as well... KFD
Superlight -RSV4  March 5, 2010 02:35 PM
Commentators keep saying the Aprilia is the fastest down the straights, but so what? I think the other brands have learned that its better to trade some of that top-end for mid-range grunt, as there are far more corners on race tracks than long straights.
Mcguire -sewer rat  March 5, 2010 12:12 PM
Anytime you have racing you have controversy. If someone challenges aprilia and they have to prove the bike is legal they should say that they don't have anyone qualified to take the motor apart (thats what 1 dealer said when I tried to get my Millie serviced).
Desmolicious -The title to this piece is a bit mis-leading...  March 5, 2010 11:46 AM
No protests were lodged at the end of the race, and the SBK commission is going to clarify the rules.

"Cheating" is a bit strong...