Thursday, 1 April 2010
Giacomo Agostini is considered perhaps the greatest Grand Prix rider of all time. Over the course of a remarkable career of 17 years, the peerless Agostini won 15 world Grand Prix titles (8 in 500cc and 7 in 350cc), 12 Isle of Man TT crowns, an astonishing 122 Grands Prix, and he rarely ever fell off his machine during all those years. He became motorcycling's first genuine world superstar and, whether riding a 350cc or 500cc, he was nearly always the man to beat whenever he took up his position on the starting grid. In America, Agostini won the Daytona 200 in 1974, bringing unprecedented recognition to the race.
Agostini cut his racing teeth in European hillclimb events (racing up hillside roads, not the American style of hillclimbing) before being offered a place on Morini's works team in 1964. He immediately began to impress and was soon given a world championship ride by MV Agusta as understudy to Mike Hailwood. Hailwood became something of a mentor to him