HOW IT ENDED (NOT A HAPPY TALE)

Classic Racer - - IN DETAIL -

The Bel­gian GP at Spa be­came the bike’s un­her­alded fi­nal swan­song, with Keith Camp­bell again the lone V8 Guzzi rider in the 500GP race held on July 7, in which he surged into the lead ahead of Sur­tees and Liberati on their fours. But af­ter smash­ing Gil­era’s ex­ist­ing lap record with a lap av­er­ag­ing 190.13kph/118.14mph, dur­ing which the Moto Guzzi V8 was timed at a truly re­mark­able 286kph/178mph along the Masta Straight, and seem­ingly on the way to cer­tain vic­tory, the Aussie came to a halt in a se­cure lead with a bro­ken bat­tery lead! Al­though no­body knew it at the time, this turned out to be the Moto Guzzi V8’s last race. In pre-race test­ing four days be­fore the Ital­ian GP at Monza on September 1, the new Aus­tralian 350cc world cham­pion crashed the 50 00 V8 at the fast Curva a As­cari and broke his pe elvis, putting him out of the e race. On ne week later cham­pion Ge­off f Duke, was due to test ride t he V8, with a view to joinin ng the Moto Guzzi team for th e 1958 sea­son. But the test n never hap­pened. In­stead, two week s later, on September 15, the road rac­ing world was dumbfounded by thee an­nounce­ment that, in con­junc­tion with f fel­low 1957 world cham­pi­ons Mon­dial and Gil­era a, Moto Guzzi was with­draw­ing from rac­ing.

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