1981 500 World Champion Marco Lucchinelli has been inducted into the World Championship Hall of Fame at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, with Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, leading the ceremony at the Autodromo del Mugello on Friday.
After beginning his career on the world stage in the 350 World Championship in 1975, Marco Lucchinelli burst onto the premier class stage the following year with two podiums in his first two appearances. Fourth in the Championship as a rookie, Lucchinelli’s debut with Suzuki laid solid foundations for his ambitions of taking the World Championship.
A raft of more top ten finishes and podiums prefaced a real push for the title in 1980, when the partnership of man and machine took a podium finish five times, including a victory to conclude the season in Germany as he ended the year third in the title standings. In 1981 Lucchinelli took five stunning wins and seven podiums on his Suzuki, as well as setting five fastest laps and seven pole positions. He was then crowned 1981 World Champion by 11 points to take his place in MotoGP™ history.
Lucchinelli joins a long list of greats that have been made MotoGP™ Legends that includes Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, John Surtees, Carlo Ubbiali, Alex Crivillé, Franco Uncini, Kenny Roberts Jr and the late Nicky Hayden.
Marco Lucchinelli: “I just want to say a few words. First, how incredible it is to see here so many people and friends. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you all and it’s a pleasure to see you now. And to have the bike here is great, the original bike. I’m very happy, and I don’t really know what to say. It’s a pleasure to be named a Legend amongst all these greats.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports: “It’s a very special day for us and for me, maybe not many people know but Marco has been something very important in our commitment in MotoGP, instrumental in helping us. It’s a special thanks to Marco for what’s he’s done for motorcycling, he’s a real MotoGP Legend and I’m very proud to give him this award.”