Motorcycle racing legend Carlo Ubbiali has sadly passed away at the age of 90.
In the early times of the Road Racing Championship of the World (as officially called at that time), riders from two countries were dominating all the races in all classes: Italy and United Kingdom.
Member of the Italian squad, Carlo Ubbiali took part in the very first season in 1949, barely aged 20 (he was born on 22 September 1929 in Bergamo), riding a MV Agusta 125. He finished in fourth place – with his first podium in Assen. That same year he got a gold medal at the International Six Days Trial.
In 1950 he went to the Mondial factory and, after a second place in 1950, he took his first title in 1951. Runner-up again in 1952 he went back to MV Agusta. He had to fight hard against the NSU riders Werner Haas and Rupert Hollaus, being 3rd in 54 and 2nd in 54, but in 1955 he clinched the 125cc title again, with no less than five wins in six races! Moreover he started to race in the 250cc class, and in 1956 he achieved his first double Championship title 125/250cc.
He won the 125cc class again in 1958 but in the 250cc he lost the battle against his teammate Tarquinio Provini. He brilliantly scored two double titles again in 1959 and 1960, giving MV its last titles in the 125cc and 250cc: the Japanese invasion had started… Carlo Ubbiali retired at the end of 1960, aged 30, with 9 World titles, a great record at that time, which would be broken only by Giacomo Agostini and Angel Nieto and equaled by Mike Hailwood and – so far – by Valentino Rossi…
On behalf of the FIM Family, the FIM President Jorge Viegas extends his condolences to Carlo Ubbiali's family and friends.
FIM Communications/ Marc Pétrier