Enters a 170-mile, 125cc race in Italy and gets hit with torrential rain, ‘direction issues’ and a slightly misbehaving ‘back-up’ Ducati...
YPICAL. We travel all the way to Italy for a road race across the country on 125s and, despite glorious sunshine only 24 hours before, the forecast is bleak. But that’s for later in the day; as we prepare to head off from the Adriatic coastal resort of Marina di Ravenna it’s warm and dry – for now.
I’m part of a five-man Aprilia team, put together by PS reader, friend and 125 fanatic Jacopo Barone. He’ll be riding one of three RS125 Extremas in our team, and has kindly loaned me a very tidy Europa FV125 for the trip. The fifth bike in our Aprilia outfit is an AF1 Sintesi ridden by Felix Lisi from Italy’s sunnier south, with Alan riding alongside on his 900SS as trip snapper.
The plan for the day is simple: ride the Strada Statale 67 (State Route 67), an often
Tmesmerising, 170-mile-plus twisting road that connects both coasts, stopping at a handful of pre-planned destinations along the way as a team, in the quickest time possible. Several bottles of Prosecco and a delicious Italian ham await the winners.
It’s 9.20am by the time we’re all ready to go. Team Jap (RG125, TDR125 and NSR125R) leave first, with us a couple of minutes later, and the Cagiva boys just after 9.30. They’ve planned ahead, having already fuelled up, and ride past us only a mile or so up the road while we fill the Aprilias’ tanks.
Alan and I came into town on this stretch of the 67 the previous evening, so these Fen-esque flatlands are a familiar ride. Jacopo has a tortoise-and-hare strategy and wants to keep fuel stops to a minimum, so we cruise at between 50-70mph on this