View Full Version : Mercanti Interview

Ricky J
10-27-2005, 11:43 AM
During the Tuono R's press intro last month Alan Cathcart spoke with Aprilia's new production manager Leo Mercanti about the future. Mercanti spent five years with Aprilia under Ivano Beggio before departing to Piaggio where he looked after the Derbi brand, and he returned to Aprilia after the merger. Translated from motonline.com's 10/26 story, the highlights:

Mercanti says Aprilia will become increasingly focused on motorcycles, though some scooter involvement will remain. Piaggio will invest another 100M Euros of its own into Aprilia over the next four years, over and above what was spent on the merger.

The importance of maintaining the factory's legacy of passion and technical innovation.

There will be more new stuff shown during November's Milan Show, saying that the Paris Show debuts were "the tip of an iceberg".

When Cathcart asked about the rumors of a 72-degree V-4 superbike motor being developed Mercanti replied that historically speaking Aprilia likes vee engine configurations but moreover they will build whatever they think gives them the best shot at overall success, be it V-4, inline-4, or even V-3. The answer seemed a bit coy, as if to deflect Cathcart's pointed question.

Work on this new superbike racing engine will not stop development of future V-twin sport models, and that their relationship with Rotax is ongoing.

A line of 600cc four-cylinder motors is being developed, and will be built in-house. Mercanti said these will not be duplicates of Japanese powerplants but will have their own innovations. He did not specify whether these would be inline or vee configurations.

Restated the great importance of the North American market to Aprilia's future success, and the relaunching of an Aprilia USA that meets Piaggio's corporate standards.

Expressed great frustration and disappointment with the AMA's current intentions to ban the SXV/RXV/MXV from competition despite their legality for internationally sanctioned events. He said KTM is leading the anti-Aprilia lobby, but Aprilia are not giving up either and also hope that the public lets the AMA know their feelings too. Mercanti wryly cracked how the AMA needs to remember that if it weren't for technical innovations, only Harleys would be racing in America- good one Leo!

10-28-2005, 07:02 AM
Thanks for your posting. Can you please let us know which rag Alan Cathcart wrote his piece about Tuono's press? Thanks again.

10-28-2005, 07:41 AM
Thanks for your posting. Can you please let us know which rag Alan Cathcart wrote his piece about Tuono's press? Thanks again.

from online "mag"

Translated from motonline.com's 10/26 story

10-28-2005, 09:49 AM
from online "mag"
oops!! Thanks!!