Aprilia shower

En­ters a 170-mile, 125cc race in Italy and gets hit with tor­ren­tial rain, ‘di­rec­tion is­sues’ and a slightly mis­be­hav­ing ‘back-up’ Du­cati...

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - News - WORDS JIM MOORE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY ALAN SEE­LEY

YPICAL. We travel all the way to Italy for a road race across the coun­try on 125s and, de­spite glo­ri­ous sun­shine only 24 hours be­fore, the fore­cast is bleak. But that’s for later in the day; as we pre­pare to head off from the Adri­atic coastal re­sort of Ma­rina di Ravenna it’s warm and dry – for now.

I’m part of a five-man Aprilia team, put to­gether by PS reader, friend and 125 fa­natic Ja­copo Barone. He’ll be rid­ing one of three RS125 Ex­tremas in our team, and has kindly loaned me a very tidy Eu­ropa FV125 for the trip. The fifth bike in our Aprilia out­fit is an AF1 Sin­tesi rid­den by Felix Lisi from Italy’s sun­nier south, with Alan rid­ing along­side on his 900SS as trip snap­per.

The plan for the day is sim­ple: ride the Strada Statale 67 (State Route 67), an of­ten

Tmes­meris­ing, 170-mile-plus twist­ing road that con­nects both coasts, stop­ping at a hand­ful of pre-planned des­ti­na­tions along the way as a team, in the quick­est time pos­si­ble. Sev­eral bot­tles of Prosecco and a de­li­cious Ital­ian ham await the win­ners.

It’s 9.20am by the time we’re all ready to go. Team Jap (RG125, TDR125 and NSR125R) leave first, with us a cou­ple of min­utes later, and the Ca­giva boys just af­ter 9.30. They’ve planned ahead, hav­ing al­ready fu­elled up, and ride past us only a mile or so up the road while we fill the April­ias’ tanks.

Alan and I came into town on this stretch of the 67 the pre­vi­ous evening, so these Fen-es­que flat­lands are a fa­mil­iar ride. Ja­copo has a tor­toise-and-hare strat­egy and wants to keep fuel stops to a min­i­mum, so we cruise at be­tween 50-70mph on this

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