HOW IT ENDED (NOT A HAPPY TALE)
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.