The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405

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Lot 676N
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405

£ 80,000 - 120,000
US$ 110,000 - 160,000
Amended
The ex-Angel Nieto
1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 504
Engine no. 405
• Three 2nd place finishes in Grands Prix in 1973
• Restored in 2006
• Tested at Misano

Morbidelli was founded in Pesaro, Italy by Giancarlo Morbidelli. Morbidelli's line of business was manufacturing woodworking machinery, which provided the means to fund his passion for motorcycle racing. Morbidelli's first foray into Grand Prix racing came in 1969 with a 50cc single designed by Franco Rhingini, which was followed by a 125cc twin. Also the work of Ringhini, the new 125 combined the 50's 39.8mm stroke with a 44.4mm bore, and like its smaller sibling featured disc-valve induction, water cooling, and a six-speed gearbox. A maximum power output of around 30bhp was claimed, and the engine was carried in a duplex loop chassis equipped with Ceriani suspension and Fontana brakes. On the 125's debut a Modena in March 1970, Ringhini finished 5th, indicating that the new machine had considerable potential, which was confirmed when works rider Gilberto Parlotti won the Czech Grand Prix in July.

Riding the new 125 twin, Parlotti started the 1971 Grand Prix season with a brace of 2nd places, which was followed by a relatively lean spell caused by a succession of mechanical failures. He bounced back at the final round in Italy, beating a star-studded field at Monza to give Morbidelli its sole Grand Prix victory that year. It was a portent of what was to come: in 1972 Parlotti stunned the racing establishment by winning two of the first four rounds of the World Championship and finishing 2nd and 3rd in the others. Sadly, Parlotti's tragic death at the Isle of Man TT brought an end to Morbidelli's bid for the 1972 World title.

For the following season Morbidelli recruited the Spanish rider Angel Nieto, reigning World Champion in both the 50cc and 125cc classes for Derbi. Widely considered one of the greatest Grand Prix riders of all time, Nieto specialised in the smaller classes and over the course of a glittering 18-year career won 13 World Championships: six in the 50cc category and seven in the 125.

The Derbi factory's withdrawal from racing at the end of 1972 had made Nieto available to Morbidelli, but what should have been a dream combination was blighted by a series of retirements, his best results in 1973 being 2nd places in Germany, Belgium, and Spain. Nieto finished 7th in the World Championship that year and reverted to Derbi machinery for 1974.
Although Morbidelli had lost it star rider, the firm had strengthened its technical team by recruiting Jorg Möller, previously with Kreidler, as chief engineer. Moller commenced work in 1974 and rewarded his new employers with their first World Championship in '75, Paolo Pileri taking the 125cc title. Pileri was 125cc World Champion again for Morbidelli in 1976.
The following year would turn out to be Morbidelli's most successful, the Italian manufacturer taking the 125cc and 250cc World Championships with Pier Paolo Bianchi and Mario Lega respectively, while Eugenio Lazzarini added another 125cc title in 1978. By this time Morbidelli's joint venture with Benelli was well under way and more than half the 125cc grid at Grands Prix would be mounted on MBA machinery, a situation that continued well into the 1980s. Minarelli and Garelli though, would be the dominant forces in the 125cc class, restricting MBA to one further riders' World Championship (1980: Bianchi) and one manufacturers' title in 1985.

Nieto's bike from the 1973 season, this Morbidelli 125 was completely restored in 2006 using all original parts, following which it was tested at Misano. There are no documents with this Lot.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • Please click the link to view the walkaround video of Lot 676: click here
Contacts
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
The ex-Angel Nieto, 1973 Morbidelli 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 504 Engine no. 405
Auction information

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
Please note that whilst viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines.

Bidding Notices

VIEWING
In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment.
All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.
Please email: [email protected] with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number or call +44 (0) 20 8963 2817 to book an appointment.

VIEWING TIMES
Wednesday 12 August 1pm to 5pm
Thursday 13 August 9am to 5pm
Friday 14 August 9am to 5pm
Saturday 15 August 9am to 5pm (Lots 501-704 only)

SALE TIMES
Friday 14 August Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 212) 10am
Saturday 15 August Motorcycles (Lot 301 - 462) 10am
Sunday 16 August Motorcycles (Morbidelli) (Lot 501 - 704) 10am

BIDS ENQUIRIES
+44 (0) 20 7447 7447
[email protected]

CONDITIONS OF SALE – GUIDE FOR BUYERS
Please see the CONDITIONS OF SALE / GUIDE FOR BUYERS for all pertinent information regarding viewing, bidding, payment and post-sale collection & Transportation

Buyers' Obligations

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If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, undertaken by Bonhams upon a successful sale, to facilitate the registration of the machine here in the UK.