Hear the sound of Mike Hailwood’s Benelli 500 GP racebike…
The wonderful seaside town of Pesaro in the region of Marche on the Adriatic is famous for its playground of pristine beaches and also being the home of one of the world’s great motorcycle brands.
Indeed, Benelli has built and raced bikes in the town since 1911.
It employed just about everyone in the area and still does its business there. You can’t talk to anyone in Pesaro that hasn’t a connection to the factory.
Benelli won a heap of world and national championships over the years. Its racing history is quite incredible. There was in fact many races held in the town itself.
Incredible history, but one of the brand’s biggest moments came in 1968, when the factory managed to entice one Mike Hailwood to jump aboard its 500 GP bike to race at Monza. This was big.
Mike was being paid by Honda not to race around that time, so to get the great man was a bit of a coup for the Pesaro mob. And the town rejoiced.
Another Benelli champion rider in his day, Luciano Battisti, sits happily in his wonderful villa overlooking Pesaro from the hills above.
He’s made a quid over the years, has Luciano and we reckon he spent it well.
In fact, his personal bike collection includes Eddie Lawson’s 500cc world-championship-winning Yamaha and Mike Hailwood’s Benelli.
We are not sure how he does it, but Snag was granted some pretty exclusive access to view the collection, with the highlight being the start-up of the very Benelli 500 that Hailwood rode in 1968 at Monza.
Prepare to be thrilled…