Ex-world motorcycling champion Carlo Ubbiali dies aged 90

Carlo Ubbiali. MV Agusta 125 cc. 1957. 
Image: Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Carlo Ubbiali. MV Agusta 125 cc. 1957. Image: Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group

Italy's former world motorcycling champion Carlo Ubbiali has died at the age of 90 years in his native Bergamo, the world championship organisers announced on Tuesday (June 2).

Ubbiali, a forerunner to legendary Italian racers Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi, won nine world titles - six in 125cc and three 250cc - between 1951 and 1960.

He stands joint third overall for the number of world titles won, alongside Rossi and Britain's Mike Hailwood, who also won nine, and behind Agostini, who leads the way with 15, and Spaniard Angel Nieto's 13.

Ubbiali won all his crowns, apart from the first when he rode for Mondial, with Italian stable MV Agusta, which Agostini would also go on to ride for.

"I have a great memory of Ubbiali," said 77-year-old Agostini.

"I was 10 years old when he won everything and I dreamed of becoming like him one day.

"For me he was an example, an incentive and a source of inspiration. A real point of reference.

"He raced with his head, as a great champion, with intelligence and cunning.

"At the time you didn't see much on TV, I read his exploits in the newspapers.

"They described him as being at one with the bike. We are united by MV Agusta - when they hired me they asked him about me."

Born in Bergamo, in northern Italy on September 22, 1929, Ubbiali also achieved numerous victories in the famous Tourist Trophy contested on the natural circuit of the Isle of Man.

Renowned for his safe riding, Ubbiali remains famous for never being injured in racing, retiring aged 31 years.

He was the last living rider to participate in the first edition of the world motorcycle championship in 1949.

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