The ex-Giacomo Agostini, 1976 Morbidelli 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. none Engine no. none

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Lot 677N
The ex-Giacomo Agostini, 1976 Morbidelli 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. none Engine no. none

£ 60,000 - 100,000
US$ 77,000 - 130,000
Amended
The ex-Giacomo Agostini
1976 Morbidelli 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. none
Engine no. none
• One of two specially built for Giacomo Agostini
• Bimota frame
• Rebuilt in the Morbidelli Museum's workshop circa 12 years ago

By 1976 the great Giacomo Agostini had 15 World Championships to this name – all in the 350 and 500 classes – and at the age of 33 was nearing the end of a career of unprecedented success. In what would turn out to be his penultimate season of Grand Prix racing, Ago rode MV Agusta and Suzuki machinery in the 500 category and an MV in the 350 class. He would achieve two victories that year: at Assen aboard the 350 MV, and at the Nürburging on the 500 MV, the latter being the Italian manufacturer's last-ever Grand Prix victory. He retired at the end of the 1977 season having finished 6th in the 500 class for Yamaha.

Rewinding to 1976: in the summer Ago had been offered what was then a colossal amount of money for a one-off appearance – reportedly £5,000 – to compete at an international meeting at Misano. To maximise the return on their investment, the organisers wanted Ago out in every race; he had bikes for the 500 and 350 events, but nothing for 250, a class he had last contested at Grand Prix level back in 1964 when contracted to Moto Morini. As the leading Italian manufacturer, Morbidelli was approached to provide him with suitable machinery; two machines were prepared for the Italian champion, the one offered here being his spare bike.

The Misano meeting was held on 3rd August, there being three races on the calendar: for 500, 350 and 250cc machines. Ago won the 500 race on a Suzuki, finished 2nd in the 350 event on an MV, and came home 2nd in the 250 race on the Morbidelli, beaten by Yamaha-mounted Franco Uncini.

Morbidelli's first Grand Prix contender for the 250 class had appeared partway through the 1976 season ridden by factory rider, Paolo Pileri. It followed the pattern established by Morbidelli's highly successful 125 twin: water-cooling, disc-valve induction, and a six-speed gearbox. Various frames were experimented with, including a mono-shock design by Bimota (as seen in the machine offered here), which featured the Rimini firm's characteristically lengthy swinging arm pivoting concentrically with the gearbox sprocket (it is said that the two frames supplied by Bimota cost Morbidelli approximately 30,000 lire). A maximum output of 64bhp was claimed for Morbidelli's 250, which was good enough for a top speed, depending on gearing, of around 160mph.

The 250 made its racing debut at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1976 when Pileri brought it home in 2nd place behind reigning World Champion Walter Villa's Harley-Davidson. The following year Morbidelli achieved its only World Championship in the 250 category courtesy of Mario Lega, who, although he won only one race, consistently finished in the points throughout the season. Development of the Morbidelli 250 continued into the 1980s under its associated MBA brand name, though these machines were intended for supply to customers rather than for the works team.

The machine offered here was reconstructed from original parts around 12 years ago by Giancarlo Morbidelli and one of the team's former race engineers, Franco Dionigi. It should be noted that the colour scheme is incorrect and that there is no radiator fitted (technical drawings and sketches of the radiator are included in the sale).

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 677: click here
Contacts
The ex-Giacomo Agostini, 1976 Morbidelli 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. none Engine no. none
The ex-Giacomo Agostini, 1976 Morbidelli 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. none Engine no. none
The ex-Giacomo Agostini, 1976 Morbidelli 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. none Engine no. none
The ex-Giacomo Agostini, 1976 Morbidelli 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. none Engine no. none
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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.