When making the decision there were many things to consider - but in the end we selected this particular machine for the following reasons:
* In David Jnr's early years of racing, we competed in the british championships on an Aprilia RS125SP - since then we have always had a soft spot for low production run Aprilia special editions
* We have never had the pleasure of acquiring a brand new factory-built race bike before (but did race a brand new but road-converted Yamaha R6 back in 1999)
* The Aprilia Factory RS660 Trofeo is a fabulous looking machine
* We enjoy the Supertwin category, having raced in it for the past decade - and are happy to continue riding in the category
* But possibly the most important thing was... we really wanted to own one!
Regarding the competition element - which raises the question of "Will it have the outright speed of a modified SV650/Z650/R7/etc?" - we don't currently know, but I guess we'll find out... Regardless, due to the reasons outlined above we didn't want one of those other machines! ;-)
Our aims for the future?
With our investment in a brand new machine, we will be frequenting the club racing paddocks for a while longer. This has enabled us to 'think bigger' when assessing what we want to achieve - and this will revolve around outright speed rather than results for the 2022 season, as if we are quicker then we are likely to be more competitive anyway.
How will we achieve our aims?
Our 'plan of attack' is not a particularly complicated one. However, with the time demands that come with an advancing career and a young family, it has become apparent that unless we specifically try to address these points then our time will inevitably be spent elsewhere. What we will focus on is:
* Getting more seat time - being on a bike more frequently is always useful! We plan to increase to number of days we spend on track (whether on a race day, track day, flat track, etc) as in the past that has proven very useful.
* Having a fitter rider - being able to ride harder for longer will help the rider to push the boundaries further. Any weight loss will also help overall performance.
* Evolving the machine over time - as we know, the game continually moves on. As proven performance updates become available for the RS660 Trofeo, we will evolve the machine in line with our aims.
How will we measure our success?
The stopwatch will be the gauge of our success. Our aim (circuit conditions depending) will be to first match, then to beat, our existing Personal Best lap times. Regarding Darley Moor in particular, we have assessed the sub-1:02 lap times posted within the various 'Twins' classes over the past 10 seasons - and would like to progress up that particular "leaderboard".
We are particularly excited by these developments and are looking forward to the race season(s) ahead! Keep your eyes peeled for further news and updates - including a dyno comparison against our Kawasaki Supertwin once the Trofeo arrives :-)