Marco 'Crazy Horse' Lucchinelli, 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world champ in 1981 and one of the wildest, most colourful personalities in the paddock at that time...
For their January 2012 issue, the UK-based Fast Bikes magazine have done an interview with Marco Lucchinelli, who won the 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world championship in 1981, aboard a Roberto Gallina-backed Suzuki. Nicknamed ‘Crazy Horse’ for his wild riding style, Lucchinelli rode in the 500cc class from 1976 to 1985. He got to ride with pretty much every manufacturer present in 500cc GP racing at the time – Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda and Cagiva.
In the Fast Bikes interview, Lucchinelli has some interesting things to say about the current state of MotoGP, World Superbikes and front wheel burnouts. Here are a few excerpts from what he says:
On the dangers of motorcycle racing
When I raced it was dangerous, but it was dangerous for everybody. When you are riding a motorcycle, you decide the danger level for yourself. If you think it is too dangerous, you close the throttle and the others go faster.
On the current state of MotoGP
MotoGP is not very good. When it rains, they used to stop the race, now they swap bikes. That is like babies! They take a lot of money, they can decide to slow down if they are scared, not stop. I don’t want people to die but I think it is too much about safety.
On racetracks getting slower
Every track is slow now. When I raced, there were fast corners, like in Spa, Assen or Silverstone. When I raced, Spa was 11km, now it is 3.8km, for babies. I remember, when we finished races like the 22km Nurburgring, you would stop and say, ‘I am a man!’ and then drink with the other riders as we were all friends. Now there is nothing, no drink, no fuck... now it is work. For me it was never work, it was fun, I would have raced for free.
On his love for music
I made music. I made a song called ‘Foggy Day’ for Carl. I sing and play the harmonica. I have played at festivals and at Imola WSB. For me, the buzz of riding is better than performing, but I love performing.
On World Superbikes
WSB is full of old men now. I told Carl Fogarty to get his leathers out, WSB is the category for the old man. Biaggi, Checa, Corser, they all have gray hair…
On front wheel burnouts
I do front wheel burnouts. You go third gear, grab the front brake slightly so the tyre can still move a bit, then give it gas! Waaaaaaa! I can do 15 metres. Troy Bayliss is much better, he can do it in fouth gear…
On not having any regrets
I have no regrets. When I saw the shooting star I asked for one world championship, which I have got. Maybe if I had asked for three, I would have been racing longer. But it is like when you are with a woman – the first time is always the best. And I am not greedy.
Source: Fast Bikes