Exclusive: Former Pirelli Pirelli Pirelli Pirelli Racer Richard Vincenzo dies at 50

It’s the end of a long career. Tomas Villeneuve becomes the third son of a Formula One champion to lose a driving career to injury, and the end of an era for one of…

Exclusive: Former Pirelli Pirelli Pirelli Pirelli Racer Richard Vincenzo dies at 50

It’s the end of a long career. Tomas Villeneuve becomes the third son of a Formula One champion to lose a driving career to injury, and the end of an era for one of the oldest races in the calendar, the 500cc Grand Prix of Ascot, England, on September 18.

Defending champion Nicky Hayden passed away on September 3, 2015, one week before his 40th birthday. Hayden was a three-time MotoGP champion, a seven-time race winner, and three-time podium winner. He was widely respected for his fearlessness, his dedication to safety and his dedication to his fellow riders.

Seven weeks later, Arène Bernets, one of the best cyclists in the world at a time when the sport of cycling was about as clean as can be, died at the age of 37. Bernets won 18 national and European road titles over five separate circuits, an Olympic bronze medal, and he was the first rider to win a stage on the Paris-Roubaix race. At the age of 18, he was the youngest rider to start on the famous cobblestone course.

And now, at the age of 50, Danny Piquet Jr. has died from a massive heart attack while in a group outing with his son, Danny Piquet Jr. The Brazilian paddock has been flooded with grief for the former Marlboro MotoGP world champion as he became the most recent casualty of a sad sport. On Thursday, Piquet’s brother was remembered at the start of the eighth round of the MotoGP Championship at Aragon, Spain. He has previously won the 125cc and MotoGP titles in 1982.

From 2026 to 2028, the Motorola MotoGP World Championship race will be run at the Silverstone Circuit in England. This is a sad day for a sport that has, over the past three decades, seen its share of tragedy, both from the road and the track.

Pecco Bagnaia, 37 years old, joins the elite list of former world champions to have died in motorcycling, a sport I love, but one that often puts the cyclists in the crosshairs of attacks on cyclists and bikers generally. It was just a few weeks ago that a mother and her two-year-old son were killed by a passing vehicle in Germany.

Pecco was a hot shot at the start of the MotoGP season, winning his first race at Aragon and following that with a win in San Marino. In just nine starts, the Italian picked up seven podium finishes, leading to his selection as the winner of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship.

I’m one of the sport’s many Pecco fans and I’m heartbroken. I miss him. It’s why I go to the track every day, and why I cover MotoGP. He was one of the very best out there and one of my favorite riders of all time. He was the perfect combination of calm and aggressive, classic Italian style and good old-fashioned fun to watch.

I always loved the Grands Prix of Aragon. The Dutch are our brothers. Spanish are our friends. When Italians competed in Eunice, I felt like a kid again. I’m sorry that my friend, one of the best of the greats, will no longer compete on the track, but we will miss him. I’m sending my deepest condolences to his wife and family.

Pecco will no longer compete on the track, but we’ll miss his passion, daring and indomitable competitive spirit.

We’ll always be grateful to him for the hits, for his spirit, for his balls.

The Best of Pecco has earned one of my best PFF awards. These are the late days of racing and there were many times when we went over 60 mph! Not a single one of my friends drank, smoked or played video games. None of them used sunscreen, none of them smoked and none of them used a cell phone when riding. And they all had the courage to win the best medal in a very competitive race! These athletes were champions of the spirit — the way they fought, the way they competed, the way they faced their fears, and the respect they showed to everyone and everyone gave us a lot to aspire to.

Loved seeing you race on the track, and of course, off. We’ll miss you. I’m sure your wife, Isabelle, you’re in my prayers.

John ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia was a three-time winner of the PFF award for Top Icon of Motorcycling. (@pecco_bagnaia)

Leave a Comment