Motorcycle Racing News Yamaha MotoGP Snapshot | Giacomo Agostini

Yamaha MotoGP Snapshot | Giacomo Agostini

2011-yamaha-motogp-snapshot-giacomo-agostini (1)

Motorcycle Racing History

The Italian Giacomo Agostini was already a living legend when he joined the Yamaha Factory Team for the 1974 500cc and 350cc World Championships.

The YZR500 OW20 had already proved its potential in the hands of Jarno Saarinen when the four cylinder two-stroke hit the Grand Prix stage in 1972 and the superstar from Brescia identified the changing scene in the premier class by embracing the new technology.

“Ago” was a thirteen-time world champion by 1974 (six in the 350cc and seven in 500cc classes) when he joined Yamaha seeking a fresh challenge. The combination began in fierce fashion with a victory in all five races on the 350cc 0W16 for title number fourteen.

The following year, in 1975, Giacomo Agostini’s four wins and two additional podiums on the formidable 500cc 0W23 gave Yamaha their first championship in the premier-class; a watershed moment.

Giacomo forged a strong association with Yamaha and returned to the 0Ws and steered the 0W35 in his final season (his fourteenth) in 1977 where he gained two more podium results. After a brief attempt at car racing Agostini started a successful managerial career and helmed the factory squad at a time when Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson were at the heights of their powers.

Needless to say the records (15 titles, 122 wins, 68 500cc triumphs, 159 podiums in all classes) mean that Agostini will always hold an elevated position in the annals of motorcycle sport.

His flamboyance and charm made him a household name in Italy and he is a figure that commands the upmost respect when he makes annual promotional appearances at the age of 68. Ago has also been an important part of the Yamaha Classic Racing Team and takes great delight in wheeling out his rasping ‘smokers’ for the older generation of fans to roll back the years and a younger audience to wonder at a bygone age.

To find out more about Yamaha’s Racing history, click here.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 Daytona Fantasy Supercross Tips (16 Fast Facts)

The Daytona Supercross is the midway point in the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series. There are eight rounds in the book, and there...

BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Comes To Europe For 2022

For the first time since its 2008 debut, the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy competition will be held in Europe. Located above the northeast...

Ultimate Motorcycling Editor’s Letter, March 2021: Vive l’automatique!

Testing the 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT for this issue reminded me of something fundamental—motorcycles need to be accessible to new riders. Although we’ve...

Lieback’s Lounge: FTR—The Savior From Winter Misery?

When I found myself cleaning the tire treads on my Multistrada 1200, I knew the winter madness had returned.

2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster First Look: New Fork and More

The 2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster gets a more responsive motor with additional midrange power from the vertical-twin 1200HT engine. The powerplant also meets Euro...

Avon Tyres + Blood Bikes = Motorcycles Saving Lives

We’ve all heard of blood banks, but this is the first time we have heard of blood bikes. Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes is...