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Italian Motorcycle Champions meet the president of Italy

Italian Motorcycle Champions meet the president of Italy

Italian Motorcycle Champions meet the president of Italy

Some of the most successful names in Italian motorcycle racing were this morning invited to meet the President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. The audience took place in the Palacio del Quirinal, with five motorcycle racing World Champions on the guest list including Valentino Rossi and Marco Melandri, crowned in the MotoGP and 250cc categories, and the three Motocross of Nations victors Andrea Bartolini, Alessio Chiodi and Alex Puzar. Alongside them were riders who have taken a crown at least three times in the past - such as Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi and Luca Cadalora, likewise Enduro Champions Gian Marco Rossi, Mario Rinaldi and Giovanni Sala, who were all handed a silver medal for their achievements and status in the sport.

Although MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was unable to return to Italy in time to take part, HRC´s highest ranked oficial in Italy, Carlo Fiorani, was pleased to accept the prize on his behalf.

The event also reunited former greats Bruno Ruffo, Carlo Ubbiali, Pier Paolo Bianchi, Eugenio Lazzarini and the most easily recognisable of the Italian Champions, Giacomo Agostini, who all collected a `Commemorative Order of Merit´.

Ciampi declared his fondness for the sport of motorcycle racing: `I often follow the races, and I could tell you a lot about them. I shudder when I see their high speed antics, the frightening overtaking manoeuvres in the corners and I am shocked when I see them crash – I know there was a fatal incident recently. I am happy to have met you all in person, I congratulate the riders from the past and I wish the best with all my heart to those who continue riding.´.

MotoGP, 2003

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