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1967 Grand Prix stars Take Center Stage at Banquet Event during VRRA Festival at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

The stars of the VRRA’s 1967 Canadian Grand Prix 50th Anniversary Celebration were out in force at the evening gala celebration at the posh meeting centre at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Aug 12.  Famous competitor and journalist Sir Alan Cathcart interviewed legendary racers who featured during the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc Grand Prix (now MotoGP) events on a cool and sometimes wet day at “old Mosport” almost fifty years ago, the only time the series competed in Canada

Third overall in the Featured 500cc class competition, staged with Government support to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Canada on Saturday, September 30th, 1967 was Mike, now Michelle Duff.  After a promising European career, a serious Yamaha testing crash in Japan kept Duff away from the “Continental Circus” in 1967, but for the event at her home track she received the loan of “the first Arter Special, just finished by Tom,” confirmed Duff to Cathcart.

“It had a G50 engine, disc brakes, a great frame, some said it was ahead of it’s time.  It was also fitted with Goodyear tires, and the conditions were wet, almost rainy.  It was really slippery, and in those conditions I think those Goodyears were better than the Dunlops most had.  I attribute much of my success that day to the Goodyear tires.”

Duff’s practice with the new bike was troubled, due to an issue with the Magneto. 

“Officially we didn’t qualify, but they said we could start from the back if no one protested, and no one did.  I still had my bad hip, so I wasn’t good at bump starting in those days, so they let me get a push start from the back of the field, and I worked my way up to get that third.”

The poor conditions, along with delays due to a shortage of race fuel at the venue, meant the 500cc Feature race was shortened from 50 laps to 40 tours, still an incredibly lengthy event by modern standards.

Canadian Dave Lloyd had raced in Europe in 1966, but was competing in North America in 1967 when he ran in the 500cc event at Mosport on a locally built Ernie White Racing Manx Norton, winding up seventh, just out of the points.

“The weather was atrocious, that was the best you could say,” started Lloyd regarding his first and only home Grand Prix.  “The bike sometimes leaked from the left primary, but this time both my feet were eventually covered in oil.  On top of that, the carb was spitting back into a delicate area, and the only relief I had was sticking my legs out on the straights, and that didn’t help much.

“Honestly, how I managed to finish 7th I don’t know!”

In 1968, Lloyd Returned to Europe and competed at the Isle of Man for the second time aboard Honda equipment, earning a Silver Replica with a strong 13th place finish in the 250cc Grand Prix class. 

 Eight-time World Champ Phil Read was on hand from the U.K., and took part in some lively banter with Cathcart, the pair having previously spoken at various European Grand Prix reunion type events.

Classic bike tester and exotic expert Cathcart inquired about the challenge of following the famous Honda six-cylinder 250cc four-stroke racer, a bike that barely ran below 9,000 RPMs.

“Really, if you got within ten meters of that Honda, the pain was so intense that you couldn’t believe it,” explained Read of the eras’ un-muffled engines.  “So you just had to get by!”

Read was in a supporting role in the 250cc class at Mosport aboard the works Yamaha two stroke four cylinder, as legendary Mike Hailwood on the Honda six was fighting for the World Championship against the other works Yamaha of Bill Ivy. 

“They were two mad men, so I left them to it,” explained Red, who held station in third behind Ivy and Hailwood, in what was regarded as the best race of the day.  The title protagonists battled until the last lap when Ivy stopped, allegedly out of gas even though the event had been shortened.  Read, riding at a more conservative pace while watching the fight for first, wound up second behind soon-to-be-World Champion Hailwood. 
Hailwood would clinch the 250cc crown a few weeks later in Japan, and then Honda pulled out of Grand Prix racing to concentrate on their fast-expanding auto division.

In the 500cc Premier class, Hailwood tried to get MV Agusta mounted points leader Giacomo Agostini to fight for the lead, even though Agostino knew he could clinch the Championship with second.  Hailwood let Agostini lead for half of the race, but when “Ago” couldn’t be convinced to engaged, Hailwood took off to win by 40 seconds, Agostino second and the new premier class Champ.

Vintage action with the VRRA continues will a full slate of racing on Sunday around the classic Mosport layout for a wide range of Vintage classes.  The special Saturday evening event was sponsored by Alien Technology Racing, Rider’s Choice.ca, Castrol Oils, fabricators C.M.R. and Woody’s Cycle.

The final V.R.R.A. National of 2017 is slated for Calabogie Motorsport Park on September 8-9-10.   

Saturday, 12 August 2017 22:03 Published in News


MV Agusta unveils wild F4Z concept bike - PHOTO GALLERY INCLUDED

Chantilly, September, 2016. Introduced at the third international Concours d’Elegance Chantilly Arts & Elegance, the F4Z is the first motorcycle to be created by the historical Milanese coachbuilder Zagato in collaboration with MV Agusta.

Thursday, 01 September 2016 12:55 Published in Industry News


MV Agusta Canada Named as Title Sponsor of the MOPAR CSBK Opener at Calabogie

Calabogie, ON. - Calabogie Motorsports Park is pleased to announce that MV Agusta Canada will be the title sponsor for Round 1 of the 2015 MOPAR Canadian Superbike Championship being held at Calabogie Motorsports Park June 12th- 14th, 2015!

Tuesday, 07 April 2015 17:35 Published in News


NEW MV AGUSTA STRADALE 800‏

Varese, 4 November 2014 - Breathtaking braking, awesome acceleration. City streets. Country roads. Motorways. Different situations that used to require different bikes - but not any more.

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 15:57 Published in Industry News


MV AGUSTA TURISMO VELOCE 800 & TURISMO VELOCE 800 LUSSO‏ COMING

Varese, 4 November 2014 - A new dimension. A world described by turns and straight stretches, scenery and hairpin bends, asphalt. Unique sensations. And just one name: Turismo Veloce. MV Agusta forsakes common ground and outlines a new way of understanding touring. Available in dealerships from the beginning of 2015.

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 12:39 Published in Industry News


Farewell to Massimo Tamburini

Varese, 7 April 2014 – After a long period of illness, Massimo Tamburini, recognised as the world's greatest motorcycle designer, died yesterday at the age of 70.

Monday, 07 April 2014 17:14 Published in News


MV Agusta and Yakhnich Motorsport Join Forces

Varese, (March 18 2014) - As of 2014, MV Agusta and Yakhnich Motorsport have joined forces to compete in both the Superbike and Supersport World Championships.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 13:42 Published in News


Historic Win for MV Agusta at Phillip Island

Varese,February 23, 2013 – Thirty-eight years on from their last success, achieved by the great Giacomo Agostini on his 4-cylinder 350 cc at the Nürburgring, MV Agusta are back on the top of a world championship podium. The superb F3 675 of the MV Agusta Reparto Corse - Yakhnich Motorsport team has, in fact, pulled off a stunning Supersport win at the Phillip Island circuit to take the first round of this World Championship.

Monday, 24 February 2014 13:48 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Leon puts MV Agusta on the podium for the first time at a Canadian National

Montreal native Michael Leon rode the Royal Distributing MV Agusta F3 675 triple to a third place finish in the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sportbike class at Round 2 of the Canadian Superbike Championship at Autodrome St-Eustache, his home track.  The result marks the first visit to the podium for MV Agusta in Canadian national competition.

Friday, 12 July 2013 15:23 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Brutale Corsa latest offering from MV Agusta

Just a few short weeks after introducing the new F3 800, MV Agusta is once again unveiling a new model in the Brutale Corsa, a refined version of the brand's Brutale RR.

Monday, 08 July 2013 15:25 Published in Industry News


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