Image kindly provided by Jim
As legend has it, when he was a young boy, Giacomo
Agostini asked his father for permission to race on
a bike. His father, who wanted his son to be a hard-working
accountant, turned to the family's lawyer and asked
for his advice. The lawyer confused motorcycling with
cycling and encouraged him to go ahead with such a
wholesome sporting aspirations.
Agostini achieved an astonishing 122 Grand Prix victories
and rightly so, the respect of every opponent he raced
against. His first race was in 1961 in the popular
Trento-Bondone climb, he rode a Morini 175 (bought
on installments) and finished second. A few months
later, the Morini factory contacted Agostini and following
a practive race, he signed for the team.
A year later he took his debut junior title and MV
Agusta made him an offer he couldn't refuse. In the
1965 season Agisini and Mike Hailwood were team mates
,both riders competed in the 350cc and 500cc categories,
Agostini finished runer-up in the 500cc but won the
350cc class. At the end of the season Hailwood moved
from MV Agusta to Honda.
In 1966, Hailwood was Agostini's main rival in the
500cc class, Ago succedded in beating his former team
mate. From this point on, Agostini secured an astounding
succession of World Championships in the 350cc and
500cc classes, see below.
In 1973 tragedy struck Agostini when
two of his friends and rivals, Pasolini and Saarinen,
lost their lives in an accident at Monza, Phil Read
also took his 500cc title. Ago left MV Agusta in 1974
for Yamaha in the 350 and 500cc classes, coming second
to Phil Read in the 500cc category but winning the
Daytona 200 at his first attempt.
In 1975, Agostini took his revenge
on Phil Read and won the 500cc championship. However,
younger riders were begining to come through and he
decided to return to MC Agusta as a privateer in 1976,
alternating his appearance on track with a Suzuki
500. A year later he finished his career on a Yamaha.
Following this, for two seasons he raced single-seater
F2 and F-Aurora cars with little success.
In 1982, Agostini made a return to
the World Championship as manager of the Yamaha Marlboro
team. Continuing his phenomenal success, the team
secured three senior world titles with the American
Eddie Lawson. Luca Cadalora and Alex Criville also
rode for the team. Some years later, as manager of
the Cagiva 500cc outfit, Agostini renewed contact
with Lawson and worked with other talented riders
such as Alex Barros, John Kocinsky and Doug Chandler.
Giacomo Agostini Timeline
1942: Agostini is
born in Brescia, son of a wealthy Italian industrialist.
1963: He wins the
1963 Italian 175cc championship aboard a Morini and
gets his big chance when Morini factory rider Tarquinio
Provini moves to Benelli. Count Alfonso Morini signs
1964: Agostini wins
the Italian 350cc title and proves his talent by finishing
forth in the Italian 350cc Grand Prix at Monza.
1965: He is signed
by MV Agusta for a full-time ride in 350 and 500cc
world championships. He takes his first premier class
win at the Imatra circuit in Finland.
1966: He wins the
first of his eight premier class world titles, which
starts a run of seven in succession.
1968: From the West
Germany Grand Prix on the famous Nurburgring to the
Ulster GP in 1969, Agostini records 20 successive
victories, nearly a third of his total tally in the
1972: Agostini enjoys
his best-ever season as he claims 11 wins, while he
wins 10 races in three other seasons during his career.
1974: Having dominated
Grand Prix racing with MV Agusta, Agostini wins his
first premier class GP for Yamaha.
1975: Agostini claims
his eigth world title and his only one not riding
an MV Agusta as he creates history on a Yamaha. It
is the first 500cc world championship for Yamaha,
the first in the class for a two-stroke machine and
is the first time MV Agusta lose the title since 1957.
1976: Agostini wins
his last race and the 122nd of his career back on
an MV at the Nurburgring.
1977: At the age
of 35, with 68 premier class wins and 54 other GP
successes, he retires. His last GP is the 1977 British
GP at Silverstone.
- 1965 - 2nd in 350cc and 500cc World Championship
- 1966 - 500cc World Champion
- 1967 - 500cc World Champion
- 1968 - 500cc and 350cc World Champion
- 1969 - 500cc and 350cc World Champion
- 1970 - 500cc and 350cc World Champion
- 1971 - 500cc and 350cc World Champion
- 1972 - 500cc and 350cc World Champion
- 1973 - 350cc World Champion and 3rd in 500cc Championship
- 1974 - 350cc World Champion, 4th in 500cc Championship
and Daytona 200 winner
- 1975 - 500cc World Champion and 2nd in 350cc Championship
- 1976 - 7th in 500cc World Championship
- 1977 - 6th in 500cc World Championship
Wins by Circuit
- Imatra - 10
- Spa-Francorchamps- 8
- Assen - 6
- Sachsenring - 6
- Isle of Man TT - 5
- Brno - 4
- Hockenheim - 4
- Monza - 4
- Nurgurgring - 4
- Dundrod - 3
- Salzburg - 3
- Anderstorp - 2
- Imola - 2
- Le Mans - 2
- Clermont-Ferrand - 1
- Jarama - 1
- Montjuich - 1
- Opatija - 1
- Paul Ricard - 1
Agostini Appearances (MotoGP)
- Appearances - 119
- Wins - 68
- Podiums - 88
- Fastest Lap - 70
- Pole - n/a
Agostini Wins by Machine Type
- 2-Stroke starts - 30
- 2-Stroke wins - 6
- 4-stroke starts - 89
- 4-stroke wins - 62
Agostini Wins by Manufucturer
- MV Agusta wins- 62
- MV Agusta starts - 89
- Yamaha wins - 6
- Yamaha starts - 25