The Trophy’s longest “mini-endurance” race was a real challenge for the 70 riders who took turns driving 35 V7s on July 17 on the Cremona Circuit, a new stage of this 2022 season. The already demanding 90 minutes of race time was staged with temperatures that here, in the heart of the Po Valley, reached peaks close to 105 degrees, making the battle for the podium even more red-hot!
It was a convincing stress test also for the new 850cc V7s, which once again confirmed their excellent reliability and performance: an hour and a half at full-gas run without a hitch, setting times worthy of much more powerful bikes.
THE DEBUT FOR OUR PROUD OWNERS TEAM
A spectacle of rumbles, overtaking and endurance (also physical) that we as Proud Owners got to follow from a privileged vantage point, that of our official riders, at their first appearance in the 2022 edition of Fast Endurance! With one rider new to the series, and on a bike that was new to both members, our community’s standard-bearer team experienced a weekend of continuous growth, in terms of both camaraderie and lap times.
A frequent visitor to paddocks all over Italy, Andrea Taricco, in his new role as Proud Owners rider, got into the racing spirit of the Cremona stage as best he could. Arriving from Bergamo with his trusty red Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport in tow, in the moments when the other Fast Endurance riders were catching their breath between qualifying sessions, he would get off the number 57 V7 to jump on the track astride his 1100 and compete in the Gentlemen’s Cup. Then on Saturday evening, not to miss out on anything, he even raced karts on the track behind the circuit, for a whole weekend dedicated to motorsports!
By now a veteran of our team, but his first time between the curbs at Cremona, Alessandro Moro confirmed his incredible ability to adapt to new challenges quickly, never being satisfied with the albeit very positive results wrested from the stopwatch from the very first qualifying laps. Seeing the gradualness and consistency with which he chipped away tenths from the best, we could almost regret that Sunday’s race lasted “only” (so to speak) 90 minutes!..
In the end, in one of the last laps before the final rider change, Alessandro set an excellent 1’52”340, just 2 seconds more than the fastest lap of the day achieved by Matteo Baiocco (“Baiox” to his friends), a guy who knows how to work with bikes (and MotoGP bikes)! And it was from him that our Alessandro tried to “steal” some secrets, discussing with Baiox at length and certifying his maximum availability in dispensing valuable advice. Seeing them discussing trajectories and what gears to use, as if they were racing for the same team, is one of the nicest postcards that this stage of Fast Endurance left us, confirming the atmosphere of sharing and friendship that has always pervades the Trophy.
In the end, due to a miscommunication on one of the last changes, our Proud Owners team concluded the race in 9th place among the 850cc V7s. A mid-ranking place, which nevertheless bodes well for the upcoming engagements.
TROUBLE ALWAYS COMES IN THREES!
The fight for victory featured three teams that led throughout the 90-minute race. Coming out on top, for the third time in a row after the Vallelunga one-two, was once again the duo of Emiliano Bellucci and Stefano Nari of the 598 Corse team. Already very fast in qualifying, in the race the two managed to defend the pole position they gained on Saturday and cross the finish line on Sunday with a just over 17” advantage over the fierce Alberto Rota and Mauro Poloni (Team AR#28), who thus won their first well-deserved podium in the Trophy. A bit further behind, at 31”, were Gianfranco Rubini and Jacopo Rizzardi (Guaracing Factory Team 1), who instead grabbed their third consecutive podium.
V7 III STILL BRILLIANT
While the scepter of queen of the Fast Endurance has passed to the new V7 “ottoemmezzo” (850 cc), the many V7 IIIs entered in the Trophy again this year are certainly not standing idly by! Well-proven, agile, and always competitive, these bikes in fact put on a show within a show, proving themselves up to the task even on the long straight of the Cremona Circuit (longer than half a mile, where the extra horsepower of the 850cc V7s makes itself felt!). For their first time on the highest step of the podium dedicated to 750s, Nicola Marcato and Franco Piccirilli (Nuova M2 Racing) were particularly at ease on the Lombardy track right out of the gate. Behind them, Luca Ciuti and Dario Benfaremo (Banda Racing dei Rapaci) and their “cousins” of the Team dei Rapaci 1 (Luca Fornasiero–Mauro Rossignoli).
BAIOX, FROM MOTOGP TO FAST ENDURANCE!
What’s it like to step out of the world of MotoGP and immerse yourself in the picturesque and more carefree (but not too much!) atmosphere of Fast Endurance? Matteo Baiocco, track analyst for the Aprilia Racing Team can tell us! An exceptional wild card in this stage of the Trophy, Baiox brought all his competence and helpfulness to the Cremona Circuit for a weekend of pure fun.
“This 850 is a bit of an ‘odd’ bike for me! Early on I had to get used to its particular torque reaction when leaning with the throttle closed, but otherwise it’s a bike that pays to ride it like a sport bike, without any particular tricks… I wasn’t expecting that! The atmosphere in the paddock is all about friendliness among the teams, but I have to say I didn’t expect quite so much competitive spirit once I got out on the track!”
Perhaps it was predictable, but the stopwatch confirmed the stuff Baiox is made of: both the best lap in qualifying and the best lap in the race were his. The exceptional 1’49”911 he clocked is proof of how hard the “ottoemmezzo” can push!
FAST ENDURANCE RETURNS IN LATE AUGUST
A new entry on the calendar like Cremona was, Mugello, with its spectacular ups and downs, will host the next-to-last stage of the Trophy on August 28. It will be followed by the grand finale in Misano, with double races on October 15 and 16, the first of which will be run at night.
Not even time to realize it and we’re already at the halfway point of yet another exciting season, with three races separating us from the closing of the most crowded Fast Endurance ever. It was an edition marked by the arrival of the 850cc V7s, but still true to the spirit of friendship and healthy competition that has made us fall in love with this one-of-a-kind Trophy.