Carlo Ubbiali 1929-2020

Legendary Italian racer and nine-time world champion Carlo Ubbiali (pictured below) died on June 2.

Born September 22, 1929, Ubbiali was reckoned to be the last survivor of the first (1949) season of GP racing; he finished third in the 125cc class on a Mondial.

Riding the same marque, he scooped his first GP win in 1950 and then the 125cc world championship in 1951.


But it was after his switch to MV Agusta in 1953 that success really came his way – though not initially, as the Gallarate-made machines were inferior to the German NSUs.

But when NSU quit, it was open season for MV and Ubbiali gorged; world championships in the 125cc in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960, with the 250cc titles in 1956, 1959 and 1960 too. He’d also earlier won a gold medal in the ISDT in Wales in 1949.

In 1960, he was voted Italian Sportsman of the Year – then quit racing at the season’s end, his total number of GP wins on 39.


During his entire career, Ubbiali never suffered a serious accident, his calculated and considered – but hard – riding often putting him at odds with his fiery rival, Tarquinio Provini.

After finishing racing, Ubbialli married Mariella, with whom he had four children, and he ran a car sales business in Treviolo, Bergamo, in northern Italy.

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