Aprilia HSBK’s Claudio Corti Proves RSV4
Claudio Corti, the Italian behind the controls of the Aprilia RSV4 RF, joined the Texas-based Aprilia HSBK Racing team after a hiatus from road racing – but that break hasn’t slowed him down.
Currently leading the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 standings in the 2016 AMA/FIM MotoAmerica Championship, Corti has three wins in the Superstock class to date. The latest two arrived at a rainy New Jersey Motorsports Park this past weekend.
Corti was able to secure a double victory at NJMP, but additional clout arrived to his third-place finishes overall in both races. His Superstock RSV4 (no internal engine or transmission mods) was beating out the Superbike competition.
As a European rider, he’s not exactly a stranger to temperamental weather. In fact, that most likely played into his hands wonderfully under the downpours in Millville, N.J. As many members of the field began to flounder, Corti charged on through to the checkered flag, unimpeded.
Turning up to the track on Friday, Corti took to the soaked track and got a lay of the land. Finishing second in P1 in Superstock and P4 overall. Saturday offered a bit of reprieve from the rain, unfortunately he went down in the final practice session before he could put up times that would allow him directly into Superpole 2, the crash evidence evident on his Heroic leathers. Aprilia HSBK scrambled together, getting the bike back in fighting shape and in a mere three hours, he’d finished Superpole 1 in 6th, placing him in 16th place on the grid.
The prospect seems grim on paper but this is racing and anything can happen. After making quick work of the field, which seemed to having difficulty negotiating the weather, Corti ran up to third place ahead of several factory Superbike teams. A bit more history was made for MotoAmerica as this marks the first time that a Superstock 1000 bike finished 3rd in Superbike.
As the day progressed, weather and track conditions deteriorated. Getting off to a great start, Corti had the race leaders – Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 pilots Cameron Beaubier and Josh Hayes – in his sights but it wasn’t in the cards. A incident in the field nearly collected him, forcing him to run wide off track. Once again, he was fighting from deep in the field and did so masterfully. Again, Corti made history by not only claiming the double win in Superstock 1000 but also a double podium in Superbike.
“This weekend really highlights the strengths of the stock RSV4, the talent of Claudio and the resilience of the team. We are building great momentum and are ready for any challenges the rest of the season brings our way. Big thanks to our sponsors and fans for all of your support,” said Team Owner Bobby Shek.
Aprilia hasn’t let his efforts go unnoticed either. Although Aprilia HSBK is not receiving full factory support, the Italian based brand is helping in a big way. Aprilia HSBK and Aprilia are now exchanging data in an effort to get Corti’s bike dialed in before each race. The Aprilia HSBK send everything off and by the morning, have refined information and programming to work with. Now, that isn’t factory support with engineers, mechanics and new bikes at your disposal but it’s nothing to sneeze at either.
This is exactly what MotoAmerica needs; the interest and support, at any level, of the manufacturers. Let’s hope that Corti’s success continues because with the introduction of Corti, the Spaniard Moto2 Champion Toni Elias (Yoshimura Suzuki) and the Frenchman Valentine Debise (Team Hammer Suzuki), MotoAmerica is primed to become another viable channel in road racing, something that the United States has been lacking for several years now.