Monday, April 16, 2007

Libero Liberati: World champ, half a century ago…

Libero Liberati aboard his 500cc Gilera grand prix racer

While Valentino Rossi prepares for the Turkish MotoGP, which is just one week away now, another Italian was racing and winning in the 500cc class, fifty years ago. We don’t suppose too many people remember him now, but Libero Liberati was the 500cc world champ half a century ago, back in 1957.

Liberati, who was born in Terni, Italy, went racing in the 500cc class with Moto Guzzi in 1950, and later moved to Gilera. Winning four GPs in 1957 aboard his Gilera, Liberati won the world championship, but his season ended in acrimony due to a dispute with the company.

An advert for some Gilera 125, probably from the 1950s. Ahem.. :-)

Gilera left the motorcycle GP racing scene after the end of the 1957 season, though Liberati went on to race in the 250cc class in 1959 with Moto Morini. His last race win came at the 250cc West German GP that year.

Sadly, Libero Liberati, 1957 500cc world champion, passed away in a high-speed road accident in 1962.

Also see:
"I'm not giving up!" - Nicky Hayden, 2006 MotoGP world champ fights back
Marco Lucchinelli - 1981 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ
The future's bright, the future's Benelli?
Bring the bling: Roaring Toyz Kawasaki ZZR1400

1 comment:

Piero Ruju said...

Hello. I am writing from Terni, Libero Liberati's Home town. I wanted you to note that two news on your page on Libero Liberati are wrong. Firstly, in 1957 the Gilera Team decided to leave the competitions and this is the reason why Liberati did not race with Gilera. Ther was no clash whatsoever between Liberati and the Gilera team nor any dispute or acrimony (as you said). Secondly, Liberati's death happenes at 40mph and not in a high-speed road accident in 1962.

Information on Libero Liberati on my boog at at

(in english at

Thank you
Piero Ruju

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