THERE is always something rather fasc,…,„g about the G.P. des Nations held at Monza at the end of the season and this year was no exception. Possibly it is due to the fact that it is the last of the year’s classic events counting for the World Championships, so that many titles have to be decided, or possibly it is because Monza is such a magnificent track; • whichever way, one thing is certain and that is that being a track for out-and-out speed there are no holds barred so far as the mechanical side. of the racing game is concerned, and rev.limits are thrown to the wind and gear ratios raised all in search of those extra m.p.h. This year. since the C.S.I. limitations on streamlining, most firms did not do much in that direction, though M.V.s had peculiar windshield-dim-muffs on the handlebars and Gileras ext ended their tank sides to form a cowling round the fork assembly. As always, the only classes that were truly international were the 500-c.c. and the sidecar, though Arthur Wheeler and Roland Pike ran English bikes in the .250-e.c. class, the former bringing his Velocette home seventh. Without question the four-cylinder Gileras proved the maestros in the 500-e.e, class, finishing in the first three places’ in the order Alfredo Milani, Masetti and Pagarti, with Geoff Duke -fourth. Milani’s riding was superb, and leading from start to finish there was never any possibility of him being challenged. With a fastest lap at 107 in.p.li. and an average speed for the 32 laps of 105 m.p.h. he must have been reaching 113 m.p.h. on the fastest parts of t he track.
When everyone is out for a last final fling and team managers give the O.K. for passing the red line on the rev, counter it is not surprising that some riders are unlucky and suffer retirements, and one of the greatest disappointments was that of the New Zealander, Rod Coleman, On a ” works ” A..J.S. twill who was nicely in third place When his magneto stopped sparking. However exciting the sole races may be the sidecar event is invariably more so, and this year was no exception with a battle royal for first place between Albino Milani, the brother of the solo rider, and Erie Oliver, finishing in that order with two lengths between them. The Italian was on a brand-new ‘fourcylinder Gilera outfit, and defying all accepted practice he used telescopic forks and swinging arm rear suspension -as on Oliver’s ” works ” Norton machine. It was interesting that the Gilera forks were very heavily braced to prevent longitudinal twisting. Two Of these outfits were built, the other being ridden
by the ” works ” rider Frigerio, but he had trouble on the first lap, Otherwise we should have certainly seen a threecornered match for first place. As it was; the pace of the leading pair was so great that they lapped P. V. Harris, the third man home.
Although the outcome of these truly International events was a convincing demonstration of speed by Gilera four cylinders, the two World Titles went to Geoff Duke and Oliver, while the former also won the 350-c.c. title, which is really only a National competition for English machines. Oliver has now won the World Sidecar Championship title for three years in succession, so there can be none to dispute his prowess with, three wheels, In the solo events Duke has won so convincingly that few will question his titles, while his double wins in 850-c.e. and 500-e.e, in the T.T., Belgian G.P. and Ulster G.P. as well as the German G.n, stamp him as the. rider of the age. Rumour has it that he is retiring now that he is married, but that is only a rumour and there is nothing better for a star’s ‘following than a conflicting mutual..
In the other solo classes, the 125,e.e. World Champion is young Carlo Ubbiali on the fabulous Mondial, and 250-cc, is Bruno Ruffo with the Guzzi.
With the International season now virtually finished the trials side of motor-cyclingbecomes prominent once more and even as I write the International Six Days’ Trial is about to begin. What the outcome will be the next six days remains to teal, but there is every chance that our riders will be able to counteract -the sweeping defeat this country received at Monza. In some Ways the I.S.D.T. following directly after the C.P. des Nations is a good thing, but in others it is a nuisance, for it clashed with the Italian G.P. for racing oars, and now that interest in both branches of the sport is increasing there were many people suffering from the trouble of wanting to be in two places at the same time. While in Italy I took the opportunity of sampling some of the motor scooters that infest that country as-cicadas do the South of France. Riding .a four-speed 125-e.e. M.V. model I found it the quickestform of transport in Milan, and Was able to out-accelerate most cars from standstill to 25 m.p.h. by making full use of the gearbox. The three-speed Lambretta 125-c.c. scooter appeared to have more power but suffered from its handlebar geareharige when the need for traffic dieingwas required. Without a doubt the Italian takes to the highway as does the Frenchman, in a Spirit Of competition, so that some of the private
battles amongst rival scooters are as good as Any organised racing. The handling of the various scooters on their small tyres is beyond reproach, while the Italian industry’s knowledge of the twostroke engine is beyond comparison.
Returning home Once more it is nice to see the A.C.U. inviting riders to a meeting to discuss any faults or omissions that may have occurred during the past year. In this way full co=operation between riders and organisers can be attained, thus making for the best possible state of the sport. Also it…means that when the annual congress of the F.I.M. takes place towards the end of the year the English delegates will have a good knowledge of what the English riders expect from racing. In arranging this meeting, now-in its second year, the A.C.U. has established a precedent that could be followed by many more countries to endeavour to get International motorcycle sport on the best possible lines, and good will in International sporting relationships cannot but help towards International good will in all things.