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Jul 2, 2002

Motogiro d'Italia: Tullio Masserini Wins Classic Road Race, Donates Prize To Charity

From a Ducati press release:<BR><BR>TULLIO MASSERINI WINS MOTOGIRO D'ITALIA 2002 AND DONATES FIRST PLACE PRIZE , A CUSTOM DESIGNED DUCATI 750 SUPERSPORT, TO CHARITY<BR><BR>After 1,500 kilometers of riding through the backroads of the Emilia Romagna, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany, the Motogiro closed on June 20th with a spectacular prize-giving ceremony.<BR><BR>Bologna, June 28, 2002<BR><BR>The Motogiro d'Italia 2002, the historic revival of the vintage motorbike classic, completed its five-day itinerary through central Italy on June 20th, 2002. The winner of this year's overall Vintage Racing Class (bikes manufactured pre-1957, with maximum 175cc) event is Tullio Masserini, from the Desio Club (Lombardy). As first prize, Ducati Motor-–lead sponsor of the Motogiro for the second consecutive year-–awarded Masserini with a special edition Ducati SS 750. The prize bike was inspired by the legendary Ducati ridden by Paul Smart in the Imola 200 miles race in 1972. Carlo Di Biagio, the managing director of Ducati Motor Holding, presented the prize at the Gala Dinner, held at the Villa des Vergers (Rimini). Over 350 Motogiro participants, staff and friends attended the dinner. In a gesture of extreme generosity, Masserini decided to donate the motorbike to the Italian Motorcycle Federation, which will auction it off to raise money for disadvantaged children in Africa.<BR><BR>The Vintage Racing Class is at the heart of the Motogiro and this year, Alfio Sorgato (winner of the Motogiro 2002) came in second place on his Morini 175cc; Angelo Cattaneo, on his Gilera 175, placed third. In addition to the Vintage Racing Class, this year Ducati introduced the Taglioni Memorial Class, in honour of the late engineer Fabio Taglioni. This classification included motorbikes manufactured between 1968 and 1978 and was won by Antonio Benelli on his splendid Aermacchi HD SS. <BR><BR>The Motogiro d'Italia 2002 started its engines on June 16th at the Santamonica Racetrack (Misano, Italy) where the third World Ducati Week, Ducati's largest ever rally, was being held. All participants in the Motogiro rode in a Lap of Honour to the cheers of 20,000 Ducatisti from around the world. Leading the parade were the World Superbike Champions Troy Bayliss, Ben Bostrom and Ruben Xaus and another special guest, Damon Hill-–the 1996 Formula One world champion--who rode a Ducati 125. <BR><BR>The first overnight stop on the itinerary was Terni, home of the Motoclub "L. Liberati," which provided technical support for the event. The next day, the Motogiro headed for the Mediterranean seaside town of Gaeta, south of Rome. On Day 3, many riders experienced what they described as "the best road ever"—-a twisting mountain pass winding through the National Park of Abruzzo, after which they arrived in Tivoli. On Day 4, participants rode through Umbria and Tuscany to Chianciano Terme. The final leg of the Motogiro, on June 20th, led the 250 participants back to Romagna, over the spectacular Passo di Viamaggio, famous to motorcyclists throughout Italy for its curves and magnificent panoramas.<BR><BR>This final leg witnessed the historic return to the road of the Ducati 250 Bicilindrica, created by Engineer Fabio Taglioni specifically for Mike Hailwood in 1960. The bike, owned by the Ducati Museum, was recently restored by experts at the Ducati factory. This two-wheeled masterpiece was re-introduced to the road during the Motogiro, when Alan Cathcart, journalist and motorcycle expert, had the opportunity to ride the motorbike on select stretches of road between Chianciano Terme and Riccione. The Ducati 250 Bicilindrico will be put on display at the Ducati Museum in Bologna.<BR><BR>Winding up the five-day event, all 250 participants gathered in Riccione's seaside Piazza San Martino, where crowds gathered to meet the riders—including Motogiro greats from the 1950's, Remo Venturi and Giuliano Maoggi. <BR><BR>The Motogiro 2002 hosted a large number of international guests: of the 250 participants and 53 accompanying passengers, 136 were foreign. The largest non-Italian group came from the UK, which counted over 60 riders, led by Chris Bushell of the Ducati Sporting Club. Over 35 Americans attended, led by Vicki Smith, the first woman ever to compete and complete the Motogiro in 2001. Participants also came from Spain, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Canada, South Africa and Japan. The 2002 edition was also characterised by a strong female presence: 10 on bikes and over 30 in the accompanying passenger class.<BR><BR>The Motogiro d'Italia 2002, organised by Dream Engine, the Bologna-based entertainment company, was made possible thanks to the generous support of: Ducati Motor (main sponsor for the second consecutive year), Shell, Marzocchi, Corriere dello Sport-Stadio, Motociclismo d'Epoca, Regione Emilia Romagna, Bologna Turismo, Viaggi Salvadori 1929. Dream Engine would like to thank the Motoclub Terni "Libero Liberati" for its technical support, and the Italian Motorcycle Federation. Dream Engine would also like to extend special thanks to Davida for donating a selection of beautifully designed custom helmets to select vintage racers—Maoggi, Venturi and Tartarini. <BR><BR>Dream Engine hopes to see you at next summer's edition of Motogiro d'Italia 2003.