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The ex-rider factor: Loris Reggiani

The ex-rider factor: Loris Reggiani

Although Loris Reggianis early years in the World Championship saw him ply his trade with several different constructors - Minarelli, Bimota, Suzuki, MBA, Kawasaki - his name will always be closely linked to Aprilia´s surge on the Grand Prix scene.

Although Loris Reggianis early years in the World Championship saw him ply his trade with several different constructors - Minarelli, Bimota, Suzuki, MBA, Kawasaki - his name will always be closely linked to Aprilia´s surge on the Grand Prix scene.

In 1985, he joined the Noale factory and debuted their first 250cc machine, a double frame, aluminium alloy beam - coupled with a Marzocchi fork and a rear shock-absorber mounted on a pro lever suspension with an engine outsourced from Austrian manufacturer Rotax.

Already a three-time 125cc Grand Prix winner, Reggiani quickly showed off the potential of the Aprilia 250cc by taking fourth at Mugello, and third twice, at Rijeka and Imola. At the end of the 1985 season he was sixth in the World Championship, while Freddie Spencer took the title on a Honda.

The following year was marred by injury but he bounced back in 1987, taking his first 250cc win with Aprilia at Misano, and thus making history as the first Italian winner in the quarter litre class since Graziano Rossi in 1979.

As Aprilia developped their own engine from 1988, Reggiani began a lacklustre spell and even had a brief stint with Honda in 1989, but he eventually returned to Aprilia to develop the new-generation RSV250 - the first incarnation of one of the most successful 250cc bikes of the 1990´s as also ridden by the likes of Max Biaggi, Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi and Tetsuya Harada.

Reggiani himself however was often unlucky and he too rarely enjoyed the fruits of his labour. After adding four victories to his CV between 1991 and 1993 and taking 3rd and 2nd overall in his last two seasons in the 250cc class, he embarked on a new adventure in the premier-class with Aprilia in 1994.

The Italian firm debuted in the blue-ribbon class with an innovative two-cylinder bike, which with light weight and agility, aimed to beat the four-cylinder models: an innovative decision in the Aprilia tradition. The bike had potential but it´s 400cc engine ultimately proved unable to beat the 500cc 4-cylinders and Reggiani eventually retired at the end of the 1995 season.

Today Reggiani remains closely involved in the sport, as the technical expert for Italian broadcaster Italia 1 (Mediaset), alongside MotoGP host Guido Meda. Now aged 47, Reggiani continues to impart his wisdom and insight about motorcycle racing for one of the biggest MotoGP TV audiences in the world.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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