The world of motorcycle racing has witnessed outstanding achievements from its very beginnings, and Giacomo Agostini has gained a top place in this field thanks to his numerous prizes and noteworthy racing skills. While you can find more info here if you need quality tires to up your moto experience, here is more on Giacomo Agostini’s career.
Nicknamed Ago, Giacomo Agostini has gained appreciation and become known worldwide after reaching an impressive number of World Championship titles, and Grand Prix wins. His achievements have made racing fans widely regard him as the world’s greatest Grand Prix rider.
His passion for racing started in his youth, despite his father’s disapproval of this path. Born in Brescia, Lombardy, to mother Maria Vittoria and father Aurelio Agostini, Agostini first engaged in road racing and hill climb events, even though his father tried to convince not to race.
Things changed when Ago won the Italian 175cc Championship riding a Morini in 1963. The achievement helped his father come to terms with his son’s career choice. It was then that Count Alfonso Morini hired the young winner to ride for him. One year later, Ago won the Italian 350cc title and reached the fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix race that took place at Monza.
Even if you have no previous knowledge regarding the motorcycle and car racing field, it is not difficult to understand that Giacomo Agostini’s top place is backed by noteworthy skills, perseverance, and hard work. The achievement list leaves one in awe.
The results obtained in 1963 and 1964 did not go unnoticed and made Count Domenico Agusta take the Italian racer on for his MV Agusta squad. He thus got to be Mike Hailwood’s teammate. In 1965, he fought for the 350cc world championship with Jim Redman, who was riding for Honda.
Unfortunately, the bike Agostini was riding failed him in the final round that took place at Suzuka in Japan, which helped Redman win the title. When the 1965 season ended, Agostini became the top rider for MV Agusta after Mike Hailwood had decided to ride for Honda, thus leaving the squad.
The next few years brought Agostini a series of praiseworthy titles and positioned him higher in the racing charts. As an MV Augusta rider, Agostini won the 500cc title seven years in a row. The same happened with the 350cc title. His racing achievements would not end here, though.
In the 1960s, most riders who won the Ulster Grand Prix and Isle of Man TT were Anglophonic, most of them being British. Winning these motorcycle races was a real challenge as they were the most difficult in the world. Agostini did not only win the Isle of Man TT race ten times, but he also won seven Ulster Grand Prix titles.
This made him the only non-British racer to win these titles, an achievement that took his career one level higher and earned him a top place in the racing field. His success was about to go even farther than that.
In 1967, the Italian racer engaged in what came to be seen as one of the most important Grand Prix seasons. Agostini fought for this prize with Mike Hailwood, his former teammate. The battle was tight as each of them had five victories before the last race ended up with the Italian racer’s victory.
No matter if you ride a car or a motorcycle when engaging in racing, the danger is always there. Even if the racer wears the best protective gear and is skillful, there is always a high risk involved by the unpredictable nature of this activity.
An unfortunate event took place during the 1972 Isle of Man TT season when Gilberto Parlotti died. Parlotti, an Italian professional motorcycle racer, and Agostini were close friends, and the unexpected and tragic event made the latter stop racing at the TT race.
Though Agostini’s fans and the world of racing were surprised by the announcement, the reasons behind Ago’s decisions were supported by other top riders as well. Even if the TT was one of the most important motorcycle racing at that time, it posed significant safety risks for world championship competitions. All that ended in the TT being removed from the Grand Prix schedule by 1977.
Agostini’s career soon witnessed changes regarding the motorcycle manufacturer the Italian racer would ride for. After several years of being the top MV Agusta rider, Ago left to join Yamaha in 1974.
The collaboration between the Japanese manufacturer and Agostini was fruitful from the very beginning as the rider won the well-known American motorcycle race, Daytona 200. In the same year, he added the 350cc World Championship title to his achievements.
However, the 500cc title remained out of his list of victories because of the injuries he suffered and some mechanical issues. He did win it one year later, in 1975. Agostini won the last Grand Prix with the 500cc MV Agusta at Nürburgring one year later.
Before retiring from motorcycle racing, Ago also engaged in 750cc endurance races for the Japanese manufacturer, Yamaha. He finished 6th in the 1977 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season.
His career is thus contoured by a staggering number of 15 World Championships titles, and 122 Grand Prix wins. His victories were recorded in both the 350cc and 500cc classes. To be more precise, he achieved 8 titles and 68 wins in the 500cc class, and the rest of them were recorded in the 350cc class.
All of his wins and world titles made it possible for him to be regarded as the greatest rider of all times. What’s also worth mentioning is that the Italian rider rarely crashed, which highlighted his impressive skills at riding powerful machinery and do so safely.
Car racing and team management
Just like other motorcycle racers, Agostini also engaged in car races. It was in 1978 that his career as a racer shifted to cars. He then raced in non-championship Formula One races, yet that was not the only experience he had as a car racer.
The Italian rider also went for the European Formula 2 series and Williams FW06 races. He competed in 27 British Aurora Formula 1 races, where he achieved 7 podium finishes and 41 career points. His car racing career ended in 1980.
Still, Agostini’s relationship with racing and, especially with motorcycle racing, went on with him as a team manager. He started his career as a team manager of the Marlboro Yamaha in 1982. Even as a manager in the motorcycle racing field, he extended his list of achievements. Under his management, Eddie Lawson won the 500cc title three times.
Moreover, Agostini enjoyed remarkable results with other riders he managed, including Kenny Roberts and Graeme Crosby. The latter won the Daytona Formula 1 in 1982 while the former won the same race in 1983 and 1984. Eddie Lawson won the 1986 Daytona Superbike championships titles, thus adding to Agostini’s successful career as a team manager.
From 1986 to 1990, Agostini worked as a team manager of the Marlboro Yamaha 250cc team. The riders he managed include Martin Wimmer, Àlex Crivillé, and Luca Cadalora. Between 1992 and 1994, the former motorcycle racer managed the Cagiva team. However, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer stopped participating in the world championship competition in 1994.
Agostini’s career as a team manager did not end here, though. He managed a Honda team in 1995. The rider was Doriano Romboni, and this was the last season as a team manager for Ago.
His successful career is, to this day, a source of inspiration to many aspiring riders. That is one of the reasons why 2019 hosted the inauguration of a Giacomo Agostini Trophy Hall. The museum is not only a recognition of his achievements but also a way to provide his fans with a visual history of his career. The museum is located in Bergamo, Agostini’s hometown, not far from Milan.
The collection includes trophies, the race suits and helmets he wore during important races, and, of course, some of the bikes. Fans also have the chance to see notebooks including lap times, gear ratios, and other important information on his various races.
All the items in the museum are displayed in a chronological order to help visitors better understand Agostini’s evolution as a motorcycle rider.