Courtesy of Youthstream Media Service Team
This weekend, Imola’s Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari, hosts the final round of the 2018 MXGP season but today the circuit inaugurated the “50 Years of Motocross” gallery in a media event organized by Luciano Costa together with the Italian Federation, the Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari, and CRAME (Romagna Old Auto and Moto Club).
The event was hosted by Boris Casadio, speaker of the Imola circuit, and opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony involving Youthstream Vice President David Luongo, FIM/CMS Director Tony Skillington, Imola Circuit Director Roberto Marazzi and the Assessor of Sport and Events for the City of Imola Maurizio Lelli among others.
This weekend marked the 5th edition of the gallery but the first at the Imola Autodromo to coincide with the 70th anniversary of motocross at the circuit. The Parco delle Acque Minerali of Imola first hosted Motocross International racing in 1948 where Hennie Rietman from the Netherlands made history as the first winner. The event today was full of current and former racers including, Pieter and Istry Rietman, the grandchildren of Hennie Rietman.
80 bikes from all corners of the world were on display with most of them in original condition. The original bikes were complimented by former World and European Championship winning machines owned from both private Italian and international collectors. Focused on the “Golden Era” of motocross the selection is one of the biggest and most impressive in the world. Former top riders or family in attendance included: Jeffrey Vincent Smith MBA (Jeff) (GB/USA), 500cc World Champion in 1964 and 1965, Jeff Nilsson (Sweden), 125cc Enduro World Champion in 1991, 1992 and son of World Champion Bill Nilsson from 1957 and 1960 who os also the winner of 3 GP’s in Imola (1956, ’57, ’60), Kenneth Lundin (Sweden), Swedish Champion 500cc and son of 500cc World Champion Sten Lundin in 1959 and 1961, brother of Derek Rickman and Donald Rickman (GB), multi-time Motocross of Nations winners, Alan Clough (GB), British 250cc Champion, Freddie Mayes from Great Britain, Peter and Istry Rietman (Netherlands) grand sons of Hennie Rietman, winner of the first international motocross race in Imola in 1948, René Baeten Jr. (Belgium), son of René Baeten, 500cc World Champion in 1958, Sylvia and Paul Bickers, widow and son of the 250cc European champion Dave Bickers in 1960 and ’61 whose winning bike was also on display in the gallery, Otto Walz (Germany), German Motocross Champion and multi time participant in Imola motocross racing, Triss Sharp (GB), British Champion of Motocross and Enduro in 250 and 500cc during 1950 and 1960. Also a participant in the 1957 international races at Imola, Emilio Ostorero (Italy), 16-time Italian Champion in both 250cc and 500cc during 1950, 1960, and 1970, Canzio Tosi (Italy), 5-time Motocross Italian champion in 250cc and 500cc, Italo Forni (Italy), 500cc Motocross Italian Champion in 1974 and part of the Fiamme Oro group. All these old Champions will take part at the Parade around the city of Imola taking place tomorrow, Saturday at 11:00.
Adding to the massive list of motocross history makers at the event are the current top motocross athletes such as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Glenn Coldenhoff, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin, Max Anstie and Thomas Covington, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, TM Racing Factory Team’s Max Nagl, Standing Construct KTM’s Valentin Guillod, Gebben Ven Venrooy Kawasaki Racing’s Alessandro Lupino, and MXFonta Racing Yamaha’s Kiara Fontanesi.
Riders both young and old mingled then took photos together before signing autographs on the official “50 Years of Motocross” poster. The event was a massive success and reminded all of the history of our amazing sport.