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This coming weekend, 25/ 26 August, will see the famous Mugello circuit host the second round of the 2018 International Bridgestone Handy Race as a result of the continuing collaboration between the FIM, Handi Free Riders and Diversamente Disabili with the support of the FFM (Fédération Française de Motocyclisme) and the FMI (Federazione Motociclistica Italiana). Following the inaugural event held at Le Mans back in May 2017, as part of the 2017 French Grand Prix, this ground-breaking initiative has grown into a series of three events.
This season the action again got underway at Le Mans over the weekend of 19/20 May ahead of the next thrilling episode Mugello this weekend, in conjunction with the FMI Cup. For its third and final round, the Bridgestone Handy Race will feature as a support race at the FIM Superbike World Championship event at Magny-Cours (France) in late September.
No less than thirty-four riders from eight different countries – including Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Great Britain and Bulgaria – will compete this weekend in two classes (600cc – 1000/1200cc) over ten laps. They will ride in a clockwise direction over the five kilometre plus course. Qualifying practice will take place on Saturday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s main race that will start at 15h20 local time.
The battle for the title is perfectly poised in both classes with 2017 champion Daniele Barbero (ITA) having clinched victory in the 1000cc class and Spanish rider Alejandro De La Cruz (ESP) taking the win in the 600cc class at Le Mans earlier this year. Barbero was also the winner of the inaugural championship in 2017.
The International Bridgestone Handy Race is open to riders with the following qualifying conditions: Amputation of an upper or lower limb / Hemiplegia / Paraplegia / Complete Plexus brachial.
Speaking earlier this year about the huge importance of this initiative, FIM Programmes Director Damiano Zamana said. “The second edition of the International Bridgestone Handy Race for disabled riders exemplifies the FIM’s strategic ambition to broaden the practice of motorcycle sport and open it up to everyone. This ambition is part of the FIM’s long-term social responsibility vision that calls for the involvement of all sectors of society in the Federation’s sporting and beyond sport activities. Inclusivity flows naturally from one of the FIM’s goals, which is to rally fans of motorcycling around the values of respect, diversity, solidarity and fair play.”
He went on to explain how the FIM is contributing to the project: “In addition to the financial support provided by the FIM, the Federation’s sports, medical and technical departments are working with Diversamente Disabili and Handi Free Riders to draw up a set of regulations to serve as a framework for the future development of the International Bridgestone Handy Race. The FIM will also encourage its national motorcycling federations to help spread this type of event all over the world.”
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