Friday, November 20, 2009



Morbidelli, which is a woodworking machinery outfit, built a trio of 50cc GP bikes in 1969 for the Italian championship. In 1971 they built their first (and unique) 125cc GP machine, a twin patterned after the 1966 Suzuki GP. In 1972 and 1973, that machine won a few GPs but the death of driver Parlotti put the brakes on this. In 1974, Dutchman Joerg Moller was hired to design and build real winners, and he did. In the hands of Paolo Pileri and Pier-Paolo Bianchi, these 125cc twins won 3 world championship in succession, while a larger 250cc won the 1977 title in the hands of Mario Lega. In 1977, Jorg Moller was fired and joined MBA-Benelli Armi, now at political war with Morbidelli.

Morbidelli then built a 4-cylinder 500cc that raced until 1982, when Morbidelli quit racing due to economic pressure.

In the late 1990's, a V8 was conceived and built by an outside company with the blessing of Giancarlo Morbidelli, bearing his name. This was not followed by production and now resides in the Morbidelli museum in Pesaro along with hundreds of other italian racing machines.

An unrelated division of Benelli called Benelli Armi built Morbidelli 125cc Replicas under license for private racers to purchase. They were not called Morbidelli but "MBA".

Giancarlo Morbidelli is now retired while his son Gianni, who raced in 4 Formula One seasons with Ferrari, Arrows and other makes, now races sedans in Italian and other nations championships.

text via : cybermotorcycle


1 comment:

  1. Giancarlo Morbidelli is a real gentleman. He gave Kim and I a great tour of his shop and his bike collection. There were some excellent early italian machines there in addition to numerous race bikes. If you ever make it to Pesaro, you should stop in to see him.