Aprilia WANTED Michelins. They couldn't get them, without Colin. At the moment, Michelin is the only tire company producing a tire that combines good grip AND the ability to finish a race under a 220 H.P. motorcycle. Rumor was that Aprilia was going to be stuck with Dunlop, unless they got Edwards to come over and bring Michelin with him.
What I don't understand is why Nicky gets a GP ride and Edwards doesn't? Maybe I've lost too many noodles the last time I fell.
Don't get me wrong, Nicky is an awsome rider, but Edwards just seems to be the better/faster one IMO. WSB is closer to GP interms of talents and machines than AMA to GP. Maybe Honda knows something that most of us don't (OK, so Honda makes motorcycles and I only know how to make hot dogs), but we'll soon find out. Don't be surprise if Honda gets a face full of rubber from Colin and the Aprilia......
I think a lot of it is Aprilia is trying very, very hard to expand their dealer network in the USA. Having a winning MotoGP combo would draw a lot of attention their way in the USA, and allow them to present their products as high quality. Hell, most people I know have only good things to say about them.
Aprilia is, in my opinion, the company with the most agressive race program right now. They feel that winning sells bikes for them more than any other outlet.
Now that they own Moto Guzzi, I would be real excited to see a Moto Guzzi racer too...
If Aprilia don't add a few more cylinders to that engine I can't see how Colin is going to cut it amongst the 4s and V5s. I don't know what kind of horsepower they think the Aprilia is putting out but I can't imagine it is anything like the M1 or RCV are capable of. I am one that can't understand Honda not offering Colin the best ride in the first place as he was a class act all year and I am disappointed to see him leave Honda. All the same I wish him well.
It's actually more than both. If the Aprilia doesn't put out more than the Honda, it's on par with it. The Aprilia has the best engine tech in the paddock as far as HP goes. It may not have the best useability though. Once they get the power to the ground though, the RS3 will be dangerous. Honda is rumored to be making a v6 next year.
Like I told the last guy, the Aprilia makes arguably the most power out of any GP bike. They haven't been able to get the power to the ground but at Mugello the Aprilia is the only other bike besides the honda to top 200 Mph @ Mugello, and it did it before the season started. Once they get the power to the ground and can get it launched out of the corner I wouldn't doubt 215 Mph. Aprilia says part of the reason is that they don't have a good development rider in Laconi, and the other half is Dunlop tires aren't very good at all this year. Look how fast Suzuki dropped them and Ben Bostrom has been complaining about sidewall stability and full lean traction.
When it comes to Engine tech, the Aprilia is a generation beyond anything else in the Paddock. Once they get a great rider, Michelin tires for the grip and the power to the ground it may be a hard combo to beat.
Some of you need to do your research. The Aprilia has been at the top of the speed sheets at many tracks, coming out of corners slower than the Honda but just as fast at the end of the straight. Haga even said it was a rocket in a straight line. What Aprilia is look for are Michelins and a Development rider, which is what they will get in Colin Edwards. If they can get the power to the ground on that bike, they will be at the front. Just because a 3 cyl 2-stroker was low on power doesn't mean the 3 cyl 4 stroke w/ F1 tech pneu valves and all will be slow.
Superbike was the Pirelli deal. Aprilia were going to be stuck with the 'lops unless they brought Colin over because Colin is under contract with Michelin as a development rider. Michelin didn't want Bridgestone or Dunlop getting any secrets from Edwards.
Actually, Aprilia is widly believed to have the most horsepower, or at least it did earlier in the season -- reportedly they have been progressively detuning the motor throughout the season to get a more user-friendly power curve. (I believe everybody with 4-strokes is doing the same thing -- I understand that they are all down around 200 hp now, from reported peaks of nearer 220 a year ago.) Their issues has been getting the power to the ground, and getting the bike weight down to the limit for 3 cyl bikes.
I think a rider like Colin, with his smooth, controlled style, has the best prospect of getting that power down to the track.
There is a very good (and timely) article about the Cube in the newest print edition of Roadracing World -- on-line version won't be accessable for another month for those too cheap to subscribe. Anyway, after reading it last night, I feel a lot more optimistic about Colin's chance to be up in the front of the pack next year.
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