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Aprilia preparing to keep potential record on track at Brno

Aprilia preparing to keep potential record on track at Brno

Aprilia preparing to keep potential record on track at Brno

With Grand Prix fans all over the world already starting the countdown to the second half of the season, which kicks off in Brno on August 25, Italian manufacturer Aprilia are preparing to continue a streak of dominance in the quarter-litre class which could see them record their longest ever winning run before the season is out.

The longest streak of consecutive factory wins in the 250 class was set by Honda across the 1961 and `62 seasons, when legendary riders such as Mike Hailwood and Jim Redman contributed to sixteen straight wins. Since then Aprilia came closest to beating the record with the supremacy of Tetsuya Harada, Loris Capirossi and Valentino Rossi in 1998 stretching over thirteen races. This domination was ironically ended by Capirossi, who won the first race of the 1999 season after switching to Honda.

Marco Melandri´s famous victory at Sachsenring at the end of July, which came within one lap of being handed to Honda rider Roby Rolfo after being interrupted by rain with the Aprilia man already having crashed out, extended his own personal streak to five straight wins and the factory haul to eight. The only non-Aprilia triumph so far this season was by wildcard rider Osamu Miyazaki, who expertly guided his Yamaha through torrential conditions in the first race of the season at Suzuka.

Melandri hit back with a dry win at Welkom in round two and consecutive victories for Fonsi Nieto in Jerez and Le Mans effectively sparked a two-way battle for the title between the Italian and the Spaniard. The main threat to Aprilia´s dominance has so far come from Rolfo and Yamaha rider Sebastian Porto, although neither have yet managed to convincingly challenge for top spot on the podium and are both still searching for their first career wins in the class. Meanwhile the form of other Aprilia riders such as Toni Elias, Randy de Puniet and Roberto Locatelli suggest that the Italian factory have good reason for optimism as they aim to break new boundaries over the coming weeks.

250cc, 2002

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