Dec 14, 2001
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From a press release:<BR><BR>Aprilia Racing Press Information<BR>Noale, 14 December 2001<BR><BR>Regis Laconi official rider for the Aprilia MotoGP RS3<hr noshade size="1" width="400" align="left"><img src="../issues/dec01/laconi.jpg"><hr noshade size="1" width="400" align="left">The young Frenchman has been selected as the new official rider for MotoGP Aprilia in the 2002 World Championship. The latest jewel in the crown of the Noale-based manufacturer is now in highly gifted hands. <BR><BR>Regis "Lionheart" Laconi's dream has come true: he will be playing a lead role in what has been termed the "Italian Challenge" in the top class of the four-stroke World Championship.<BR><BR>The official announcement will be made in Bologna this evening in a prestige setting: the 2001 "Caschi D'Oro" ceremony. Regis Laconi will receive a special award for his fine gesture in the last race of the Superbike Championship at Imola, when his first thought was to look after his adversary, the newly nominated world champion, with whom he had been involved in a fall.<BR><BR>"It gives me particular pleasure to know that our finest motorcycle will be in the hands of a man with such feeling and character", said Aprilia President, Ing. Ivano Beggio, just after he had entrusted this new assignment to the young Frenchman. "Passion and feeling are the most important ingredients in what we have put at stake since we decided to take up this challenge. In terms of motivation, this is where our project and Regis Laconi's temperament coincide. What particularly struck me about this lad is his sincerity: his one, overpowering desire is to be the rider on our bike. I feel he is the right man for us. I wish Laconi the very best of luck and I am sure he has all the qualities needed to carry our project forward and help us realise our ambition.<hr noshade size="1" width="350" align="left"><img src="../issues/dec01/laconi2.jpg"><hr noshade size="1" width="350" align="left">This prestigious task means that Regis Laconi, winner of the last Superbike race this year at Imola, will stay with four-stroke bikes but this time back in the MotoGP World Championship, where he made his debut in 1995. The only break the great French rider has had from MotoGP was this year, on the official Aprilia Superbike.<BR><BR>"I've spent long, sleepless nights ever since I first saw the new Aprilia "Cube". And my mind's been on one track ever since: I've just got to be on that bike" - these were Regis Laconi's first words as, almost hushed by emotion, he heard from the President that he was to be given this new assignment. "This is a great honour and a huge responsibility - one that marks a new departure for my career. I'm going to fight to the finish to win on the new Aprilia. I've got a 'Latin' temperament and you'll see all the passion and determination I put into the things I really believe in. I'm truly grateful to the President and to all the technicians at Noale for the trust they've placed in me. I'm not going to let them down. The challenge is open now."<BR>