Giacomo Agostini before MV Agusta
When at young age, Giacomo Agostini was beginning to race in his hometown, Lovere, and roads around the lago d’Iseo, he used to ride a Bianchi 50cc, and when he was 18 he bought himself a 175cc Morini Settebello, one of the fastest motorcycle of that class. In 1963 he won the Italian hill climbing championship on a Morini 175, with 8 wins and two second places. He then asked the boss Alfonso Morini if he could take part in the Nations Grand Prix in Monza on 13 September. Morini accepted: Tarquinio Provini was fighting for the title against Jim Redman and his Honda, and having a second rider on the track could be useful. Riding the single-cylinder double overhead camshaft 250cc machine, Agostini jumped in the lead and went fast on the first two laps before having to slow down because of exhaust vibrations, and go back to the pits. Provini eventually lost the title, but the legend of Agostini had started. In 1964 Agostini raced the whole season in the 250cc class as “first” Morini rider. Provini had left to Benelli. He raced in various international events, mostly in Italy, winning in Milano Marittima and Ospedaletti, crashing in Vallelunga. In the Grand Prix, he finished two races with points, 4th in Germany (circuit of Solitude), and 4th as well in Italy (Nations GP in Monza), gathering 6 points in the 250cc class, and a 12th place in the Championship.
At the end of the 1964 season, following the advice of Carlo Ubbiali, Giacomo Agostini went to Cascina Costa to meet Count Agusta. He waited the whole day to finally meet the Count at 21h, and after a short talk he signed the contract the Count was handing to him without reading it. He was a MV Agusta rider, going to race in the 350cc and 500cc classes, following the path of Mike Hailwood who was racing MV since 1962 and winning almost everything. The history was on the making.
Text Marc Pétrier - Photo FIM Archive/Maurice Büla Collection