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Giacomo Agostini

Giacomo Agostini

Image kindly provided by Jim Blanchard


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 Agostini.

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 premier class.

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.

Race Stats

  • 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