Forty years later, Ducati fans gather for the Imola 200 to celebrate the race and the track that sealed Ducati’s future.
Friends and teammates hold bikes before riders run across the track and bump start at the beginning of the Imola 200 Miglia Revival.
2012 was both the 40th anniversary of the first Imola 200 and the 40th anniversary of the first-ever race victory by a Ducati desmo V-twin. The design made its racing debut in the 1972 Imola race, which it dominated with rider Paul Smart narrowly leading factory teammate Bruno Spaggiari, on an identical bike, across the line for a 1-2 finish.
A sunny weekend on Sept. 22-23, 2012, in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region saw the third running of the Imola 200 Miglia Revival, with more than 400 classic race bikes taking part. A celebration of the historic 200-mile “Daytona of Europe” road race that was held annually from 1972 to 1984 on the 3.05-mile Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari track on the outskirts of Imola, the Revival event was organized by Christian Jupsin’s DG Sport organization, which also produces the annual Bikers’ Classic nostalgia-fest held each July at Belgium’s legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Ducati’s two works riders were reunited at the 2012 Imola Revival, where they were joined by Fredmano Spairani, the man who back in 1972 set the Bologna brand on its way to becoming the modern era’s predominant European sporting marque. Race-winner Smart led a huge array of classic race bikes — many of them Ducatis — in a series of 20 minute parades recalling the 13-year running of the Imola 200. MC
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