Carlo Ubbiali, a nine-time Grand Prix World Champion, has passed away at the age of 90.

The Italian – born in Bergamo in 1929 – was the dominant force in the smaller classes during the early era of grand prix motorcycle racing, collecting multiple wins and titles throughout the 1950s before retiring in 1960.

As a result, his nine titles in the 125cc and 250cc classes still place him third on the all-time champions’ list behind only Giacomo Agostini and Angel Nieto, and level with Valentino Rossi and Mike Hailwood.

Clinching his first 125cc title in 1951 aboard a Mondial, a move to MV Agusta in 1953 preceded a return to the top of the overall podium in 1955 when he regained the 125cc crown.

That led to him doubling up in both the 125cc and 250cc classes in 1956 and allowed him to clinch both world titles after winning each 250cc race and succeeding in all but one of the 125cc events. A fourth 125cc title came in 1958, followed by more championships across both classes in 1959 and 1960 before deciding to hang up his helmet.

In all, Ubbiali won 39 of the 71 grands prix he started between 1949 and 1960.

Alas, Ubbiali would never get the chance to discover whether he’d have been able to mirror those successes in the 500cc/350cc classes due to MV Agusta’s policy of delegating riders to appropriate categories depending on their height and weight.

Perhaps one of the most extraordinary traits of Ubbiali’s successes was his metronomic consistency that meant he didn’t suffer a single serious crash during that period despite being incredibly quick. would like to extend our deepest condolences to Carlo’s family and friends at this difficult time.



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