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Forgotten hero
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 2311
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: Forgotten hero Reply with quote

Every now and then a sportsman is cut down in his prime, allowing other more fortunate competitors to fill the gap...

One of these is this man:Giancarlo Falappa (born June 30, 1964 in Iesi, province of Ancona) was an Italian motorcycle road racer from Iesi. He is remembered for his fearsome riding style.
Known to many as 'Lion of Jesi', Falappa began his racing career in motocross before making the switch to road racing in 1988. In 1989 he moved up to the Superbike World Championship riding for Bimota, winning 3 races and finishing the season in sixth place. Falappa moved to the Ducati team in 1990. His best result was a 4th place finish in the 1992 season and a 5th place in the 1993 season (winning 7 races, including the season's first 3).
In 1994, Falappa crashed while testing a factory Ducati 916 and suffered serious head injuries. After being in a lengthy coma, he eventually recovered, but never raced again. He won a total of 16 races in his Superbike World Championship career.

Without that crash maybe Fogarty would not have had things his way for the following seasons. If you want proof, watch the two men battling at Assen on 888's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ryq2RnY5wo

He was a mixture of Doohan and Scwantz, the stand up wheely first and who knows what he would have achieved post Dougy Polen?
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Pomps
Bimota's Db2, Db5 ,Ducati's 851' 92, 888' 93, Honda blade' 93, Triumph speed triple' 07, kawasaki zxr 750 k1


Last edited by Pompey on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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spyv



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 98
Location: Piraeus,Greece

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very nice video,haven't seen this one.thanks.
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 2311
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any more contenders?
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Pomps
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GeeKay



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 1319
Location: West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Met Mr Falappa at Misano in 2010. Unfortunately, I didn't have my FM Falappa replica crash helmet with me for him to sign. Scary bloke to look at, though very amiable.
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Project bikes:- Suzuki V4 500, TS185 rural cafe racer, XR11/71, Kettle/Katana, OR50, Gag125,Triumph T595 and a Triumph X75 Hurricane replica (with a difference).
Too many projects...............
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 2311
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, i know what you mean Gaz. like a serial killer Phil Collins.
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 2311
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My next is perhaps one of the brightest stars in Formula 1 to die before fulfilling his potential:

Name: Francois Cevert
Nationality: France
Date of birth: February 25, 1944 - Paris
Date of death: October 6, 1973 - Watkins Glen, New York State, USA

Francois Cevert, French GP 1973 © The Cahier Archive
Charles Goldenberg was born in Russia but moved to Paris with his parents in his infancy to escape the persecution of the Jews. He became a jeweller in the 1930s and married Huguette Cevert. They had three children although the youngsters were given the name Cevert to avoid the Nazi persecution of the Jews after the German invasion of France.

Albert Francois Cevert was born in February 1944. When he was in his teens his elder sister Jacqueline became involved with a racing driver called Jean-Pierre Beltoise (whom she later married) and the young Francois was drawn into the racing world. At 16 he was racing scooters with his friends on the streets of Paris and then tried karting. At the end of 1964 he went to the racing school at Montlhery.

He then spent two years doing his national service and at the end of 1966 he entered the Volant Shell competition and beat Patrick Depailler to the prize: a fully-sponsored season in French F3 with an Alpine-Renault. At the end of the first season he was offered a factory drive but turned it down and raced a Tecno instead and won the French title that year. Cevert made his F2 debut that year with Tecno and won at Reims in a non-championship race. He also made his Grand Prix debut in the F2 class of the German GP.

In 1970 he stayed with Tecno and raced Matra sports cars as well until Johnny Servoz-Gavin retired from F1 in the mid-season and Ken Tyrrell took on Cevert to be Jackie Stewart's team mate. He started at the Dutch GP and was soon scoring points.

At the French GP the following year Stewart and Cevert finished 1-2. At the end of the year Francois won the United States GP. As Stewart's pupil, he raced successfully in F1 and F2 in 1971 and showed his versatility by winning in touring cars and CanAm. The 1972 season was rather disappointing but he did finish second at Le Mans that year in a Matra.

Francois Cevert was being groomed to take over as Tyrrell team leader in 1974 but was killed while battling for pole position during qualifying for the 1973 US Grand Prix when the car flipped and landed on top of the barrier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KN1HaiACcM

Its well worth a look. Imagine what we would have had if he had lived to race a full career with the young Mr Senna?
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stockcar



Joined: 07 Apr 2011
Posts: 625
Location: in the shadow of the "angel"

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falappa was always a stand out for me...........
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MARTIN



Joined: 09 Dec 2009
Posts: 226
Location: ABERDEEN SCOTLAND

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me as a rider, he was not killed,but a bad crash (IOM 1978 when he hit a kerb at 150 mph ) put to end the career of what could have been one of the best - PAT HENNEN
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Marty
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 2311
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good one Martin! For those that dont know:

Pat Hennen (born April 27, 1953 in Phoenix, Arizona) is an American former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He is remembered for being the first American to win a 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle road race when he won the 1976 Finnish Grand Prix.
Hennen began his career racing in dirt track events in Northern California, where his family had moved when he was young. He was successful enough to earn a place on the Suzuki factory Grand Prix racing team. Hennen finished third in the 1976 500cc roadracing World Championship.The following year, he would again finish third in the World Championship and won the 1977 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He was also the top point scorer at the 1978 Trans-Atlantic Match Races, scoring three wins, two seconds and a third. Hennen also won the New Zealand Marlboro series for three consecutive years (1974–75 ,1975–76 and 1976–77) riding Suzuki TR500, TR750 and RG500 machines. The Marlboro Series was run over five seasons, of which he won three.
Hennen's career was cut short when he crashed while competing in the 1978 Isle of Man TT. He had just recorded the first sub-twenty minute lap in TT history when he struck a kerb at 150 m.p.h. There was a suggestion at the time that he had struck a bird although this is now considered to be nothing other than unfounded rumour. The subsequent crash caused severe head injuries from which Hennen was able to recover over time, but the lasting effects of the crash forced his retirement from racing.
Hennen currently resides in California and was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S1cyuDX-aw
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MARTIN



Joined: 09 Dec 2009
Posts: 226
Location: ABERDEEN SCOTLAND

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, how easy they are forgotten !

Scotland has produced very few motorcycling world champions. One, cut off in his prime, the 1980 World sidecar road racing champion ( sidecar racing was never given the same level of coverage).

Killed during the Finnish GP at Imatra in 1982

The late and still great Scotsman -- Jock Taylor
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Marty
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 2311
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next contender: The mighty Jarno Saarinen... The man who invented the modern style of riding:

Jarno's death, along with that of Renzo Pasolini at Monza on 20 May 1973 was a great tragedy which appalled the motorcycling world. Rarely has one man received such adulation and achieved so much on the race track in such a short time. Jarno died on the race track doing what he always did, riding 10/10ths. But, he died unnecessarily and in doing so the world lost a larger than life motorcycling celebrity. Jarno only rode in 3 GP seasons and at the time he seemed invincible.
The 1973 Italian Grand Prix was proving a farce with pit tension running high. The armco fencing was very unpopular even with hay bales. The track had been re-surfaced carelessly. In the 350cc event after Villa's Benelli began losing oil forcing him into the pits. His team encouraged him back onto the track as there was only one more lap to go. He cruised around to finish 5th dropping oil onto the track in the process. After the race, Christian Lacombe, a journalist, was concerned at the amount of oil visible on the track and approached the marshals to clean it up. Instead they called the police and threatened him with ejection from the circuit. One of the riders, Australian John Dodds confronted the Clerk of the Course over the condition of the track and was also threatened with the police. John warned as many riders as he could but didn't get to speak with Jarno.

Pasolini also did not know about the oil having retired from the 350cc race. It was inconceivable that anyone would start the race in those conditions but in those days the riders did not have a spokesman and were not used to challenging authority. Disaster struck almost immediately. Pasolini struck the oil in the first corner, the Curva Granda, and fell fatally. Saarinen following closely could not avoid him and also fell. Hideo Kanaya missed the fallen riders but hit the straw bales full on. Another dozen riders were embroiled in the mayhem that resulted, most suffering injuries. It took another two laps before the race organisers would stop the race. The shock of these deaths was total. The Suzuki, MV, Harley and Yamaha factories banded together to fight for better race conditions and Yamaha pulled out of racing for the rest of the year. The racing world had to change.

Looking back, Jarno had rocketed to fame after achieving 250cc world champion status at the end of 1972. In only his 4th season he rode a diminutive 350cc Yamaha to first place in both the 1973 200 mile Daytona race and the Imola 200 beating many larger machines. Jarno was born in 1945 in Finland. He studied to become a qualified mechanical engineer before taking up ice racing at the age of 20. He won six Finnish championships road racing on a 125cc Puch and 250cc and 350cc Yamahas.

Entering the GPs as a privateer in 1970 he rode his 125 Puch and 250 Yamaha and soon gained the epithet the "Flying Finn." To the Finns he was known as "Paroni" or the "Baron." Running out of money he went and completed his final engineering exams at Helsinki. In 1971 Arwidson and Co. sponsored Jarno to second place in the 250cc championship despite a series of seizures.

For 1972 Yamaha supported Jarno and he went on to win the 250cc world championship. He also rode the new water-cooled Yamaha 350cc twin setting a new lap record in the process. He beat Agostini at Pesaro riding 350cc and 500cc Benelli 4 cylinder machines. At Silverstone he won the 250 and 350 races, 250, 350 and 750 at Scarborough and at Mallory park the "Race of the Year." The race going public was enthralled at his wild but seemingly safe riding style. Not everyone was convinced, both Phil Read and Rod Gould expressed concern at how hard he rode.

After hurting himself between seasons and needing stitches to a leg wound Jarno tested the new 500 Yamaha 4 cylinder. In March 1973 he won the Daytona on a 350 Yamaha against much bigger opposition. He repeated this triumph at Imola in the 200 mile race. In France Jarno won the 500 race on the new Yamaha beating Ago on the MV. MV responded with a new short stroke engine. Jarno went on and walked away with the 250 class. In Austria he again won the 250 and 500 races. In Germany he won the 250 but Ago came back with the new MV in the 500 race.

Jarno went on to Monza and into history. Against big and small Jarno could not fail to impress and his early death shocked the race going public. No one could ever follow the races again without the nagging fear that tragedy may strike again. Many riders had died in competition and the race still went on; but Jarno's death was enough to shake up the whole race world. Enough was enough and the factories and riders stood up and demanded safer conditions and greater care in race management. Jarno's unexpected legacy is that today we have a far safer racing environment. it is a shame that men such as Jarno had to die before anyone would sit up and take notice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQEps6XqnoI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YD89vHPGf0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjrEks85VFg
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/2454105
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Pomps
Bimota's Db2, Db5 ,Ducati's 851' 92, 888' 93, Honda blade' 93, Triumph speed triple' 07, kawasaki zxr 750 k1


Last edited by Pompey on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 2311
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did anyone spot the narrator of the first video?
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Pomps
Bimota's Db2, Db5 ,Ducati's 851' 92, 888' 93, Honda blade' 93, Triumph speed triple' 07, kawasaki zxr 750 k1
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Ekku



Joined: 22 Feb 2012
Posts: 24
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: not forgotten Reply with quote

Jock & Jarno are far from forgotten if you look at the classic racing/bike scene.

There is a magzine called Classic racer and they have a nice coverage of the old time motorcycle racers.

At 2010 we had a wonderfull event in Imatra to celebrate the the history of the event. thet had gathered allmost all the famous riders which had participated the event and are still with us.

The amount of the classic racing machines was unbelievable too.

I suppose they will make the big event again, but not on the every year.

The sidecar racing does not get the coverage it deserves. When Päivärinta won a championship a copule times a few years ago, there were nothing but a few small remars of the title in our sport news.
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Pompey



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
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Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the classic bike scene is going to grow and grow. There is something very special about getting am old bike fit for purpose again and riding at full tilt with no rider aids. Far from perfection as many modern superbikes seem to aspire to, I have more fun with maxing out 100 bhp then cruising around on modern tackle. I dont offer it as an argument, just a personal preference which I suspect most Bimotisti can understand.
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MARTIN



Joined: 09 Dec 2009
Posts: 226
Location: ABERDEEN SCOTLAND

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess when we say forgotten, it is more in the mold that we will never see these people display thier skills in real life. Yep, there are plenty of old videos,film clips etc, but they only tend to make me sad that I will never experience these guys again.

I consider myself to have been fortunate,to have been of the age and able to witness these events as they happened, (sheen,roberts,mamola,haslam,crosby to name but a few).

I was encourage to go road racing,in the production and unlimited class, both local and eventually national in the 70`s and early 80`s. Every now and then some of these amazing racers would turn up as a guest at an event. It was amazing to just run in the same race they were in. At knockhill in Scotland about 1978,I was racing in the unlimited class, where on one of the corners
rocket Ron Haslam passed me on the outside, as I looked at him passing, he looked back and actually winked with one eye and a nod of the head.

Although my racing days was never to actually win any race, I still raced around some of the most amazing tracks.I will never forget the insanity of racing in placed like Olivers mount Scarbourgh England, Beveridge park Kirkaldy,Scotland.
I was even fortunate to attend and take part in the last ever
road race at Collie,( a race track set up around a housing estate) just outside Perth,Australia,when I was staying there in 1992.

GP racing is still a dangerous sport, accidents do happen, but due to the protection available and the safety of the tracks, fatal ones are few and far between. The technology on todays bikes is staggering, which in the 70,80 was still relativelly rare. Not to take away the skill of the Rossi`s and Stoners,
the racers of the earlier period had to struggle with thier machinery ( picture Roberts on a TZ750 , or Sheen on a TR750, or Crosby in a GP race aboard a Morowaki Kawa with "sit up and beg "handlebars.

To me, todays tracks, apart from Laguna Seca, seem very sanatised. Take a look at other "tracks" ,Macau,IOM,Northwest 200,totally insane and a health and safety nightmare ( guess this is why so many people like to go to places like Nuremburgring), but they were/are so thrilling.

I will never forget series like the Yamaha LC racing, all the same bikes, just different riders-awesome!!!
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