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MOTOAMERICA TWINS CUP 2023

APRILIA RS 660 STILL PROTAGONIST IN THE MOTOAMERICA CHAMPIONSHIP

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FIGHTING TO THE END FOR THE TITLE IN THE TWINS CATEGORY, GUS RODIO AND ROCCO LANDERS FINISH THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN SECOND AND THIRD PLACE. TRIUMPHANT AT ITS DEBUT IN 2021, THE ITALIAN TWIN-CYLINDER CONFIRMS ITSELF AS A WINNING MOTORCYCLE WITH NINE SUCCESSES IN THE 2023 EDITION

28 September 2023 - Aprilia RS 660 once again proved to be a great protagonist in the Twins Cup category of the prestigious USA Motoamerica championship, which concluded last weekend at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. Already a surprising winner of the title on its debut in 2021, the Italian twin fought until the end to win the 2023 title, placing two riders, Gus Rodio and Rocco Landers, in second and third place in the general classification.

Despite narrowly missing out on the title, the season of the Aprilia RS 660 in the Twins Cup was in any case triumphal: to the prestigious victory obtained in the opening round, last March on the legendary circuit of Daytona, Florida, they added rapid succession with numerous other successes, including the double on the equally legendary Laguna Seca track in California. Nine victories in total out of 14 races held, a haul that unequivocally confirms the strength of the Noale sports media in the exciting US series for twin-cylinder machines derived from the series.
As a further demonstration of the level of competitiveness achieved by the Italian twin-cylinder, in the final round of the championship in New Jersey 16 out of 36 riders raced astride an Aprilia RS 660.

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APRILIA RS 660 RIDERS RODIO, LANDERS FINISH SECOND, THIRD IN 2023 MOTOAMERICA TWINS CUP STANDINGS. RODIO’S COME-FROM-BEHIND PODIUM FINISH IN WET CONDITIONS SATURDAY AT NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK UNDERMINED BY UNFORTUNATE CRASH ON SUNDAY. THE RACE REPORTS AND THE DRIVER’S COMMENTS.
22-24 September 2023, New Jersey Motosports Park, Millville (New Jersey, United States) Heading into the final round of the 2023 MotoAmerica Twins Cup at New Jersey Motorsports Park, two Aprilia RS 660 riders were in the hunt to win Aprilia it’s second title in three years. While both Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering riders – Gus Rodio and Rocco Landers – came up just short of achieving that goal at the Sept. 22-24 event, both put in strong performances in their first time racing an Aprilia RS 660 in wet conditions on Saturday and Sunday.

And the Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering team’s third rider for the season finale – New Hampshirite Ben Gloddy – came close to scoring a podium finish in his first race back from his injury at the Daytona International Speedway round in March. Rodio and Landers showed stellar pace in dry conditions on Friday and ended up finishing second and third, respectively, in the final Twins Cup points standings. The duo scored a combined six pole positions, nine victories and nine additional podium finishes in 14 races this season.

An Aprilia RS 660 rider was at the top of the time sheets at the end of Friday morning practice, as Landers set a blistering lap time of 1:27.629 -- which was more than one second faster than the next fastest rider. Rodio finished Friday practice third fastest, and Gloddy was sixth-fastest. Later Friday – in the weekend’s only dry qualifying session – Landers and Rodio provisionally qualified first and second, respectively. Landers also improved on his best lap time from practice when he put in a 1:24.659. Gloddy again finished a session in sixth, giving Aprilia three riders in the provisional top 10.

Early Saturday morning, heavy rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia began falling on NJMP, which turned the morning Qualifying 2 session into a wet weather practice session. This meant Landers claimed his sixth pole position aboard an Aprilia with his stellar performance on Friday afternoon. During the wet Saturday qualifying session, Landers was again the fastest of the Aprilia riders. He finished the session second-fastest, while 3D Motorsports’ Jacob Crossman and Gloddy finished third and 10th, respectively. Rodio struggled a little and finished the session 11th fastest.

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In Saturday’s Race 1, Gloddy got the best start of the trio. He got off the line very well in the soggy conditions and was running in third place at the end of Lap 1. Rodio and Landers got an OK jump when the lights went out but got shuffled back in the run to the first turn. At the end of the first lap, Rodio had slipped all the way down to 10th place and Landers to seventh. While Gloddy ran most of the race in a lonely third place, Rodio and Landers gradually worked their way up the running order. Rodio was up to ninth at the end of Lap 2, seventh at the end of Lap 4 and fourth by the end of Lap 6. Landers advanced from seventh to fifth on Laps 2-3. Rodio put in a phenomenal performance at the end of the race, as he ran the fastest lap of the contest on the last lap and got by Gloddy late in the last lap to finish third. Gloddy crossed the line in fourth and right behind him was Landers in fifth place.

Sunday’s Twins Cup race took place in wet-but-drying conditions, and Rodio had a good start to the contest. Rodio was the first rider through Turn 1, and he and another championship contender pulled away from the rest of the field in the opening laps. Landers didn’t get off the line as well and had slipped back to fifth place on Lap 3 when the race was stopped due to an Aprilia rider, Top Pro Motorsports’ Agustin Sierra, having crashed heavily as he exited Turn 12. When the race restarted, it was Rodio who again went into the lead with his championship rival just behind him. Rodio led the way for the first couple laps after the restart but fell to second place at the start of the third lap. The other two Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering riders were struggling for pace a little after the restart. With five laps to go, Landers and Gloddy were running in 10th and sixth place, respectively. Rodio then suffered a big crash as he exited Turn 12, which resulted in the race being stopped again and later called complete. Gloddy was classified in fifth place in the final race results, Landers in seventh and Unreal Racing’s Daniel Garver in eighth.

Of the 36 riders entered to race in Twins Cup at NJMP, 16 were on Aprilia RS 660s. Aprilia thanks all the MotoAmerica Twins Cup racers who rode the RS 660 in 2023 for choosing Aprilia and looks forward to seeing even more Aprilia riders on the Twins Cup grid in 2024.

Gus Rodio, Rodio Racing Powered by Robem Engineering (bike no. 96): "I had never ridden the Aprilia in the rain, and we got on the podium on Saturday in a rain race. On Sunday, it was more mixed conditions, and there wasn’t much more we could’ve done. I’d hoped MotoAmerica would delay the race a bit more than they did, but unfortunately that’s not what happened. I put it on the floor trying today, and it was a big one. It’s been an up-and-down kind of season. A lot of things went wrong, but a lot went right too. Overall, it was a good year."
Rocco Landers, Robem Racing Powered by Robem Engineering (bike no. 97): "It was an eventful weekend – that's for sure. It’s too bad we couldn’t win the championship for Aprilia. But it goes like that sometimes. If conditions had been dry this weekend, I think Gus and I would’ve been right up at the front, This season has been hard for me, but I also didn’t think I was going to be racing at all this year. I was trying to get to 50 career wins this year, but I at least got that total up to 48.  We’ll see what next year holds. Without Aprilia, I wouldn’t be in as strong a position to move up a class next year.".
Ben Gloddy, Robem Racing Powered by Robem Engineering (moto n. 72): "It was a good weekend, as I was just coming back from my injury at Daytona. It was a good dry day on Friday, and I ended up qualifying in sixth. I ran most of Saturday’s race in third place, but Gus was able to run me down at the end. Today, with the tricky weather, I just didn’t have the confidence I needed to move up the field. I didn’t have any high expectations for this weekend. I just wanted to have some fun and get back into it.”

SARA CHAPPEL PHOTOS.