MILLVILLE, N.J. — There has been much fanfare about Aprilia test rider Tomasso Marcon making his MotoAmerica debut at this weekend’s MotoAmerica Superbikes at New Jersey round, and the Italian didn’t disappoint the fans gathered at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sunday. After suffering a crash in Saturday’s Twins Cup race, Marcon rode his Robem Engineering Aprilia RS 660 to a thrilling, hard-fought win in Sunday’s Twins Cup contest.
Marcon is the first non-American rider to win a MotoAmerica Twins Cup race, and he sealed the victory with a last-lap, last-corner draft that allowed him to claim the win by 0.049 seconds. Marcon was joined on the podium by his teammate Max Toth – who scored his second third-place finish of the weekend.
The team’s third rider, Kaleb De Keyrel — who clinched the 2021 Twins Cup title Saturday — was running in the leading pack of five Aprilia RS 660s until his motorcycle suffered a technical problem on Lap 11 of the 14-lap race.
After his motorcycle experienced some technical problems during the morning warm-up session, Marcon got a good start in Sunday’s race and led the 23-bike field through the first corner. De Keyrel finished the first lap in fifth place before dropping to sixth on Lap 2. As Marcon was battling with two other riders to maintain the race lead, De Keyrel and Toth gradually began working their way up the running order. Toth advanced one position or more per lap on Laps 3-5, and Toth and De Keyrel were both running in the top five at the end of Lap 5.
All three riders were part of a group of five Aprilia riders who gradually broke away from the rest of the field. The group was reduced to four riders when De Keyrel dropped out of the race, and Marcon lost and regained the lead several times in the race’s closing laps. Marcon was running in second place heading into the last corner of the last lap and got a great drive and draft to edge out another rider for the win.
Next up on the Robem Engineering team’s schedule is final round of the 2021 MotoAmerica season, which is slated to take place Sept. 17-19 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
Tomasso Marcon / No. 70
“In the warm-up, we had quite a big problem. The team did a really good job with fixing it, but we started the race with a lot of unknowns. We weren’t sure if the bike was good after the crash yesterday and the issue we had this morning. But, in the end, the bike was good to go. The guys are very fast here, and I’m loving my time in the United States and in MotoAmerica. Now, we need to stay focused for Barber. I’ve never raced there, just like I’d never raced here. Our target there is to win, and we will do everything we can to accomplish that.”
Max Toth / No. 58
“Today has been going really, really well since morning warm-up. We made a few changes that allowed me to dial in the third sector, which is where I’d been losing most of my time this weekend. The race didn’t get off to a good start for me, as I was still shifting into gear when the lights went out. It took me an extra second to get going, and I had to push really hard for the first part of the race. I started picking riders off one-by-one and was trying to go for the win. I’m so happy with the result today and even happier that we got two podiums this weekend. I’ve never been to Barber, but I’ve seen video of it and it looks like a tough and a simple track at the same time. There’s no pressure going into these rounds though, and I think that really helps.”
Kaleb De Keyrel / No. 51
“I had a great race going and was in the lead group battling at the front. I was saving my tires to make a push for the win at the end when the bike just shut off on me. We’re not entirely sure what happened. But we’ll figure it out, and I’m looking forward to Barber. I set the lap record there last year and will be ready to win again there.”
Marco D’Acunzo / CMO, Piaggio Group Americas
“This year has been amazing. Winning the MotoAmerica Twins Cup in our first year is impressive. We started the season aiming to get a win this year — we realized we had a new bike with a new team — and Matt and the entire Robem Engineering team did a fantastic job. I want to thank Matt Spicer, Carl Price and the rest of the team for their hard work, and the riders did an amazing job this year. We are so satisfied to see so many Aprilias out on track and doing well, and we want to keep pushing. This has been a great achievement for everybody, and we will have more good news coming in the future.”
Matt Spicer / Robem Engineering Founder
“Our first year working with Aprilia and the Piaggio Group Americas has proven to be a resounding success, and I and Carl can’t thank them enough for their unwavering support this year. We’re delighted with seeing Kaleb win the championship this weekend aboard the RS 660 in the first year it’s eligible to compete in Twins Cup, and we couldn’t have done it with the wholehearted support from Aprilia and our many other technical partners.”
Robem Engineering’s technical partners for 2021 include Aprilia Racing, Piaggio Group Americas, The Center for Plastic Surgery, Velocity Calibrations, Bitubo Suspension, Dunlop, Woodcraft Technologies, Dymag, Vesrah, DNA Filters, Magura USA, Sara Chappell Photos, NGK/NTK, Blud Lubricants, Millennium Technologies, Suter Racing and SC-Project.
Header photo credit: Sara Chappell Photos