4/16/09

Morbidelli an Italian Storia

I received today those great Morbidelli pics and i take the opportunity to take a look on what was those great bikes in the 70s



Morbidelli was an Italian motorcycle manufacturer founded by Giancarlo Morbidelli in Pesaro, whose 125 cc racing motorcycles were particularly successful from 1975 to 1980.



In 1969, he entered a team in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing world championships with a 50 cc machine. He also commissioned the construction of a water cooled disc valve 125 cc two-stroke of Rhingini design.[2] The team won two 125 cc Grand Prix races with Italian rider Gilberto Parlotti at the beginning of the 1972 season but tragedy struck when Parlotti was killed during the Isle of Man TT race.



Despite Parlotti's death, Morbidelli persevered with his racing effort. Starting in 1974 Jorg Muller, previously the designer for Van Veen Kreidler, took over development. In 1975, he was rewarded with his first World Championship when Paolo Pileri won the 125 cc crown. His Morbidelli team-mate, Pier Paolo Bianchi finished in second. Bianchi won the 125cc championship A year later The 1977 Grand Prix season would mark the height of Morbidelli's accomplishments when the team won both the 125 and 250 classes. Mario Lega won the 250 crown and Pier Paolo Bianchi would take the 125 honors.



Up until 1976 Morbidellis were not available for sale to private racers - only the team's own works riders could race on them. A new factory was built with help from Benelli at Pesaro, called the MBA factory (Morbidelli-Benelli-Armi), to produce Morbidelli motorcycles of 123 cc and 248 cc in quantity. These were raced successfully for several more years.



Morbidelli would continue in Grand Prix competition until the 1982 season.

Today the former Morbidelli factory in Pesaro houses a classic motorcycle museum that reminds visitors of the Company's former glory. The complete world championship story is represented among the exhibits as well as many antique motorcycles.