Aprilia USA and Atkins Global Management, along with a roster of sponsor partners led by Rip-It Energy Drink, have teamed up for 2007 AMA Supermoto Championship.
Factory Aprilia Rip-It Racing team riders Ben Carlson, the 2006 AMA Supermoto Unlimited Class champion, and team owner Darryl Atkins, the 2005 AMA Supermoto Unlimited Class runner-up, will race the world championship-winning Aprilia SXV 4.5 V-Twin in the Supermoto class for the first time.
Until 2007, AMA rules only allowed multi-cylinder machines to compete in the unlimited class. For the 2007 season the V-twin Aprilias will also compete in the 450 class. Wisconsin native Carlson and New Zealander Atkins will also return to contest the Unlimited Class with the Aprilia SXV 5.5, beginning with the season opener AMA Supermoto Championship races May 29 at the St. Louis, Mo., Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
"The SXV 4.5 has proven to be very competitive in the FIM S2 Supermoto World Championship, taking the title in 2006," said Rick Panettieri, brand manager at Aprilia USA. "While the bike is heavier than the competition, the responsiveness of the SXV's awesome chassis and the added horsepower give us a real unique advantage," said Atkins. "We feel we maximized the 2006 season to get an in-depth understanding of this machine's potential, and we're excited about making the SXV as competitive on the North American circuit as it has been in the World Championship series."
Former rivals, Atkins and Carlson will compete for the podium as teammates for the first time. "Darryl has been a tough competitor in the past few years and I'm happy to join forces," said Carlson.
The Factory Aprilia Rip-It Racing team is sponsored by Rip-It Energy Drink, Aprilia USA, Parts Unlimited, Bel-Ray Oils, Thor, Scott, Alpinestars, Asterisk, Ogio, ZLT, Dunlop, Beringer Brakes, K&N Filters, Pit Bull, Suzuka, Alpina Wheels, Renthal, Mechanix Wear, Regina Chains, Works Connection, Acberis, Groove Wines and AF1 Racing.
More information on the SXV 450 and 550, plus race reports and photos, are available at www.aprilia.com. A complete schedule of the 2007 AMA Supermoto Championship series is at www.amasupermoto.com.