When Colin Edwards crossed the line in eighth place at Brands Hatch in England on 15 October 2000, he marked a very important moment in the history of Akrapovič.
The eight points he acquired in that race was enough to see him crowned World Superbike Champion – his first world title – and secured Akrapovič its inaugural world championship title. Later that same day, Edwards took victory in the second race to round off a momentous day and season for himself and Akrapovič.
Racing was always in the DNA of Akrapovič, and founder Igor Akrapovič was a keen and talented racer before turning his hand to making performance exhausts. This lineage was brought to fruition on a wet autumn day as Edwards, on board his Akrapovič-equipped Castrol Honda VTR1000SP1, gave the Slovenian company its first taste of world title success.
From that day on, things would never be quite the same at Ivančna Gorica, as Akrapovič sought more success in its unbridled desire to produce the best exhausts in the world – not just for motorcycles, but also for cars, and just as importantly not only for the racing world, but for the commercial environment as well. Edwards repeated his feat in 2002 – again with Castrol Honda – when he used the technical expertise provided by Akrapovič to win the last nine races of the season and score an incredible twenty-five podiums in twenty-six races. This set a season points record that would stand until another Akrapovič-equipped motorcycle, this time in the hands of Jonathan Rea of Kawasaki Racing Team, took the record in 2017. Since this first world title for Akrapovič, the company has added another 131 world championships to its collection in both the two- and four-wheel worlds, with titles in both on- and off-road disciplines.
In 2018 Edwards was honoured as Akrapovič’s first two-wheel brand ambassador, not only due to his history-making campaign in 2000, but also because of his relationship with Akrapovič in his racing career in both MotoGP and WorldSBK. Edwards used Akrapovič exhausts in his WorldSBK championship seasons and also raced for various manufacturers in MotoGP – most of which used Akrapovič exhaust systems. The American also took Akrapovič to the top step of the prestigious Suzuka 8 hours on two occasions on an Akrapovič-equipped Honda, and he continued to race with Akrapovič until he retired from the pinnacle of the sport in 2014. His input, commitment, and knowledge of Akrapovič on different machinery in varying disciplines are second to none. He is still heavily involved with Akrapovič through his brand ambassador role and his very own Texas Tornado Boot Camp, where he uses Yamaha off-road bikes with Akrapovič exhaust systems. This constant involvement and success with the brand further cements the bond between Akrapovič and Edwards – the FIRST Akrapovič world champion!
To celebrate this momentous occasion and 20 years of world championship success, Akrapovič has produced an exclusive film with in-depth interviews featuring Edwards and Igor Akrapovič. They describe the first taste of world title success shared by Edwards and the Akrapovič company, and what was needed to achieve that feat.
Watch the special video below to hear and see Akrapovič and Edwards share their thoughts on 20 years of history.
“To be the first Akrapovič world champion is a great privilege and one that can never be taken away. The company’s got a great tradition for champions now, with some very big names, so it’s humbling to know I was number one. The work that Akrapovič and Honda put into securing those two championships was immense; we had dozens of updates because the guys in the racing department worked around the clock to get us the performance we needed. It was in no small part thanks to them that we took the titles because the exhaust was an important component, among many, to make everything come together. Akrapovič has always been a great company to work with, and I continue to use its exhausts at my Boot Camp because they’re simply the best – the attention to detail and innovative ideas are second to none. I’ve used Akrapovič throughout most of my racing career in Superbike and MotoGP; I’ve also had the honour of winning two Suzuka 8 Hours, the first in 2001 with Valentino Rossi, and then in 2002 partnering with Daijiro Kato on machinery with exhausts from Akrapovič. These were great moments for me with a top-notch company, and then to be named its first two-wheel brand ambassador was a very big deal for me and one that I take seriously. The 2000 title was my first and the first for Akrapovič, and I can’t think of a better group of people to have shared it with!”
For more information on Akrapovič visit www.akrapovic.com
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