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Simoncelli and Duke celebrate Gilera’s 100th anniversary

Simoncelli and Duke celebrate Gilera’s 100th anniversary

Italian firm Gilera celebrated their 100th anniversary at Monza on Thursday, with Marco Simoncelli and Geoff Duke both in attendance.

Marking their 100th anniversary in Italy on Thursday Gilera gathered current and former riders together, as they simultaneously launched their 2009 World Championship project.

The Italian company have 14 World titles to their name (8 rider titles and 6 constructors’ titles) with current 250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli the latest to add to that tally with his 2008 success story. The charismatic youngster was one of the stars of the show at Monza on Thursday alongside his team-mate Roberto Locatelli.

The choice of the famous Italian circuit as the host venue for the centenary party was a fitting one, having been the location for Italian rider Libero Liberati’s 1957 500cc title win on the Gilera four cylinder bike - which in the seven years from 1950-57 brought the company 11 World Championships.

Joining Simoncelli and Locatelli at the event were several of the company’s former star riders, including Geoff Duke (MotoGP Legend and four-time 500cc World Champion) and Manuel Poggiali (125cc World Champion in 2001).

250cc, 2009, Metis Gilera

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