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Motorcycle Majesty At the end of 2014, Mercedes-AMG assumed shares of the Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta – passion and painstaking, legendary roots in racing are the similarities between the two performance brands. The next step? Pedal to the metal! Giovanni Castiglioni holds a legend in his hands: MV Agusta, the fabled sports motorcycle brand out of Italy. Definitive avant-garde, fire, magic, wizardry. – Castiglioni is in his mid-thirties, the son of an Italian motorcycle dynasty, and the man has inherited the vital traits of his ancestors: dynamism, determination, passion. This high-octane fuel also nourishes the MV Agusta brand; this is where what belongs together comes together. As we wait for our appointed interview with Giovani Castiglioni, a unique movie starts playing in the private cinema of our mind... You’re standing beside this sleek motorcycle with its typical red tubular frame, its aerodynamic fairing, its characteristic silver underside, and you’re already anticipating a little drama right from the start. But certainly not this elemental force: The rider push-starts the device with an inline-three engine and large-spoked wheels for a few meters, jumps into the saddle, simultaneously lets the clutch fly – and immediately everything escalates. A sawing inferno, explosions in three-quarter time. Compared to the sound of a 1965 Grand Prix racer from MV Agusta, the trumpets of Jericho are but a gentle breeze. You could certainly measure this sound, ascribe its magic and its madness to the confluence of mechanical, thermodynamic, and acoustic conditions. And yet you would still know little about why other motorcycles sound so two- dimensional, so restrained relative to an MV Agusta. So let us rely on the pure instinct with which Italian mechanical objects can be best understood in the first place. Even people who have nothing to do with motorcycles get it right away: This thing HAS to be fast! And they’re right. Between 1955 and 1973, MV Agusta casually dominated motorcycle racing with its three- and four-cylinder racing machines: The Italians racked up 275 Grand Prix victories and 38 driver world championships. Carlo Ubbiali, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read are the heroes of the brand. And above all, Giacomo Agostini. “Ago” collected twelve world championship titles on an MV Agusta. Before lunch he wrapped up the 350cc-class race and then scooped the winning trophies for the 500cc premier class in the afternoon. 68


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