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Terni honours Libero Liberati in a weekend of events

Terni honours Libero Liberati in a weekend of events

Terni honours Libero Liberati in a weekend of events

The Italian city of Terni in the Umbrian hills was the location for a whole weekend of events dedicated to the local motorcycling hero Libero Liberati who died in the town 40 years back. Liberati was World 500cc Champion in 1957 on board a Gilera and was killed in a road-racing accident just at the town's entrance in March 1962. Since then, the local Motoclub has been named in his honour, and efforts are made to keep his name alive through weekends such as these.

Firstly, on Friday night, the Museo Gilera Expo was opened in the town centre. Including the bike and kit with which Liberati won his title and with which he died, the story details the evolution of the Gilera name from the factory's inception in Arcore, through to the return to racing in 2001 and the 125cc World Championship win with Manuel Poggiali, with bikes from each period of history.

Subsequently on the Saturday, past names from Italian Motorsport as well as current dignitaries would visit Liberati's resting place in the town, and then move on to the presentation of the 2002 Gilera squad. At this ceremony, there was also the chance to see rare footage of Liberati through his winning season in a short film created in his memory.

After a dinner, which brought together the entire Motoclub, the Sunday morning witnessed the solemn laying of a wreath near the site where Liberati passed away. There a plaque is erected on the wall remembering his achievements, which reflects the giant statue which stands at the entrance to the town.

Finally, a whole day of classic bike racing took place in the town's street 'Circuito dell'Acciaio' (literally the Steel Circuit), where heroes such as Umberto Masetti and Remo Venturi would take to classic machines to recreate past battles on the track. Venturi rode Liberati's Champion machine, alongside Manuel Poggiali on board the 2001 version. It was a step back in time that truly brought the memory of Liberati to life.

500cc, 2001

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