May 4, 2002
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From an Aprilia Racing press release:<BR><BR>Saturday 4 May, 2002<BR>Ivano Beggio, President of Aprilia, at Jerez for the weekend races.<BR>The president, Ivano Beggio, arrived today at the Jerez circuit to get a first-hand view of the two most important days of the third round of the World Championship. He spent some time with the technicians, the riders and the Aprilia team, who today will be battling out the final qualifying sessions for the starting grid tomorrow. But he also had a brief, informal meeting with the media in the Aprilia hospitality area. This provided a perfect opportunity to take stock of the current situation of the new Aprilia RS3 project, a bare three months since it made its debut here at Jerez on 24 January this year.<BR>"We set ourselves three important objectives for this season" declared the president, Ivano Beggio, "We intend to become competitive and race for the world title in the 125 and 250 classes. It is still early days yet to know if we have achieved this objective, but the data and results attained so far give us every reason to hope we shall be able to reach our goal. Our second objective was to be ready to take on the track right from the start of the championship with a highly innovative bike, the RS3, and this is one we managed to achieve. The third objective still remains: to gather all the experience we need in the races to develop the bike and become competitive as soon as possible. Today, this is the hardest challenge: there are 'physiological' times to be respected, but we are not the slightest bit daunted, even though we fully realise how much there is to do. At the moment, the RS3 is more a two-wheeled laboratory than a fully-fledged motorbike and the challenge we are facing is to develop it in real time, in each single race. It might have been more logical to wait until the bike was absolutely competitive before deciding to take part in the championship, but I wanted to be out there straight away as the only non-Japanese manufacturer. If we had not done this, there might not have been such an important challenge in the new four-stroke category, and the project might have had that much less credibility. I wanted to be right there at the start, asserting my company's strong vocation for sport. I motivated my staff by imposing extremely limited implementation times. We've got there: now it is time to make our presence felt.<BR>"We are still a year behind other manufacturers" , added the president, Ivano Beggio, "But we are the only Europeans - and indeed the only non-Japanese company - involved in the challenge. Investments are almost three times what we earmarked for two-stroke racing, but the company's commitment is firm, even though this is truly an epoch-making effort for Aprilia."<BR><BR>