After having picked up the S2 World Constructors’ Supermotard title with one race left in the season, Aprilia reeled in the S2 Riders’ title in Athens at the Greece Grand Prix with Thierry Van Den Bosch.
The race’s ending included an inter-Aprilia battle between the two official riders, Van Den Bosch and Jerome Giraudo. After disputing seven races, the two Frenchmen were the only ones left in the running for the final victory. They held nothing back as they fought atop their SXV 4.5’s, the twin that was fresh off its victory in the World Constructors’ Championship. Thierry Van Den Bosch fully lived up to expectations as he entered into the race with a strong 39 points of advantage ahead of his rival and friend, Giraudo. Already in the first manche, he began to close in on the title, beating out Boris Chambon (Ktm) and Max Manzo (Yamaha). VDB cut across the finish line in celebratory tears as he returned atop the throne of the Supermoto after a brief pause in the World Supersport Speed Championship (2004) and a nasty leg injury that stopped him last season. In Race 2, he took off from the start and held the attacking Eddy Seel at bay, who kept pressure on him all race and ended up with another 2nd, the third in a row. Of the 16 manches contested, the Aprilia captain won nine. A true record! For VDB (already a three-time champion in the S1 that is reserved for motorcycles above 500ccs), this is his first title in the S2 (up to 450ccs) and can be added to the Italian title that he won a couple of months ago. He is the only rider to have won the world title in both classes. Thus, the number of titles won by Aprilia in 2006 rises to six.
A fantastic season, especially since Aprilia has never won six titles in a single season. In fact, the riders’ titles in the speed area (obtained by the Spaniards Alvaro Bautista in the 125 and Jorge Lorenzo in the 250) and those in the Constructors’ category can now be added to the two won in the S2 World Supermotard. Such results reflect Aprilia’s passion and competence in the world of racing. The success obtained by Van Den Bosch is a repeat of the riders’ title obtained by Giraudo in 2004, the year Aprilia debuted in the World Supermotard with the revolutionary twin SXV 4.5. A fantastic motorcycle that brought a solid three riders into the top four positions of the S2 world championship. Giraudo, in fact, finished in 2nd place while Frederic Bolley, the third prong of Aprilia’s trident, finished 4th notwithstanding a bad day in Greece (he was forced to withdraw twice due to falls).
Also positive were Christian Iddon’s results, official Aprilia rider in the S1 (for bikes with more than 450ccs) atop the SXV 5.5. The English rider (4th and 6th in Greece) closed out the season in 4th place. It is too bad that his knee injury from Germany caused him to fall from the great standing that he had held in the championship up until that moment.