Italian race bike builder, Giancarlo Morbidelli dies aged 86

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Giancarlo Morbidelli, the name behind some of the greatest bikes in smaller-capacity GP racing, has died in his hometown of Pesaro, Italy. He was 86.

After building his first racers in 1969 his lightweight two-stroke racers went on to dominate the 125cc GP world championship from 1975 to 1977 with his 250 also claiming the 250cc crown. Joining with Benelli to form MBA, production versions of his 125 also claimed the crown in 1978 and 1980.

In 1994 Morbidelli was also behind an outrageous 847cc V8 sports-tourer that, due to its expense, never made it past prototype stage. Meanwhile his son, Gianni, became a moderately successful F1 driver.

The former Morbidelli factory in Pesaro is today a museum devoted to his bikes and racing success.

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