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                                                         ASI MOTOCROSS SHOW

Luciano Costa is the person most responsible for the ASI Motocross Show that has taken place in Imola Italy the last few years. Imola Italy was the site of the Italian Grand Prix from 1948 until 1965. Imola is rich with history and has the same type of pedigree that Namur Belgium and Hawkstone Park England has. This era provided a whole other world of motocross that is filled with more amazing  history than one can imagine. These were the races that had attendance of over 100,000 per event. It just might be the true "Golden Era." The ASI motocross show is a celebration and reunion of some of the greatest motocross stars of all time. The event is absolutely first class as you will see in the photos. Luciano Costa and Piero Mita also wrote a book that contains some unbelievable photography (see cover below) covering the history of this historical race on over 300 hard bound pages. This book is maybe the best book we have seen of it's type. It is an absolute must have for any motocross historian. You can contact Luciano to order a copy at Please enjoy the Press Release and 3 pages of photographs that Luciano Costa sent us covering this event.


                       Rolf Tibblin on the works Husqvarna graces the cover of Luciano Costa and Piero Mita's "Imola Mondial"



Imola, 25-26-27 May 2012 - Mineral Water Park

Event revival of European and World Championships in Imola (1948-1965)

Edited by Paolo Castaldini, Gian Pio Ottone and Luciano Costa


It was concluded the first ASI MOTOCROSS SHOW recording a success that went beyond all expectations. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday 25, 26 and May 27, 2012, Imola has become the center of an important event revival of the European Championships and World Motocross Championship which took place in Park Mineral Water between 1948 and 1965.

ASI MOTOCROSS SHOW is the name of the event sponsored and supported by the Federation ASI (Automotoclub Storico Italiano), that has called at the Park of the Mineral Waters of Imola - home of one of the most famous racetrack and real birthplace of the International Motocross of Italy - machines and drivers for a revival unprecedented in this kind of revival events. The ASI is, par excellence, the organization that best represents the function of preservation of the historic Italian motorsport and, as such, could not delegate the task of supporting this important initiative. The event was well placed in the stream created by the Federation with the ASIMOTOSHOW Varano de 'Melegari (Parma) that, for eleven years, is to meet a multitude of motorcycles, samples, pilots and enthusiasts from all over Europe at the Circuit Riccardo Paletti.

The new vintage motocross meeting was organized by the Club "ALZAVALVOLA" (“lifter”, “up valve”) of Bologna, (federated clubs ASI) in collaboration with and under the auspices of the ASI itself. Head organizer for the Federation was the veteran driver Gian Pio Otto who participated in the Italian Grand Prix at Imola in 1960 with the shirt of the Fiamme d’Oro (Golden Flames). Joined the event CRAME (Club Romagnolo Auto e Moto d’Epoca - in 2009 and 2010 festivals, commemorations took care of motocross) and the Moto Club Santerno "Checco Costa" historical partnership Imola organizing international competitions of the old time .

Hard to believe, but to make this event possible was the book "IMOLA MONDIALE - 1948-1965 - the roots of the Italian motocross" written by Luciano Costa and Piero Mita and recently published by Bacchilega Editore of Imola. The book, which returns the entire history of the Motocross Grand Prix in Imola, is circulating in the most important seats of the motorcycle racing world and has worked as a real flywheel. From the book to the new event was a short step.

The awards have come mainly from former champions guests, without exception, and collectors of vintage motocross bikes that have participated by providing their resources better. It 'was recognized by each site the value of the event as the first major international meeting of the samples that have made the Golden Era of Motocross.

From all over the world, after 47 years since the last Grand Prix in Imola Italy, moved into the city of Romagna:


- Sten Lundin, world champion in the 500 class of 1959 and 1961, winning four races in Imola;
- Bill Nilsson, world champion in the 500 class of 1957 and 1960, winner of three Grand Prix at Imola;
- Rolf Tibblin, world champion in the 500 class of 1962 and 1963, winner of three Grand Prix at Imola;
- Gunnar Johansson, Swedish National Champion 500 class of 1956;
- Torsten Hallman, World Champion 250 class of 1962, '63, '66, '67, won the G.P. at Imola in 1964;
- Leslie Archer, European Champion 500 class of 1956;
- Jeffrey Smith, champion of the world 500 class of 1964 and 1965;
- Donald and Derek Rickman winners of various Motocross of Nations with the national team and builders of the famous British brand Rickman Metisse, classes 250 and 500;
- Charles Molinari, champion French 500 class of 1952, '54 and '55;
- Albert Courajod Swiss champion 500 class of 1954, '55, '56, '57 and '58;
- Otto Walz German champion class 125 and 175 of 1957, 175 class in 1958, classes 175 and 350 in the 500 class in '60 and '62.
- Sivert Eriksson, Swedish champion 250 class of 1960;
- Emilio Ostorero, sixteen times Italian champion in Class 250 and 500;
- Lanfranco Angelini, seven times Italian champion in Class 250 and 500;
- Canzio Tosi, five-time Italian champion class 250 and 500.
- Giuseppe Cavallero, Italian champion in classes 250 and 500 of 1971.
- Many other important European and Italian riders.

A meeting of such size and stature had never been recorded in the world. The meeting was an opportunity extraordinary and perhaps unique (we hope not) for all those who love the Vintage Motocross Fifties and Sixties.

The glorious array of champions, combined with that of many other good Historical pilots, was able to catalyze around him a multitude of other veterans of motocross and a wide audience of enthusiasts. Absent was the Italian champion Lanfranco Angelini for health reasons. He deserves our most heartfelt wishes for speedy healing.

The organization of the event offered guests the best accommodation and hospitality, as is appropriate with respect to champions of highest caliber. The exhibition space “Acque Imola”, located in the heart of the Mineral Waters Park, home of the glorious motocross track, has allowed the organization of the event with quality services and a very pleasant atmosphere of hospitality.

The photo exhibition, consisting of 350 images of large size regarding the entire period of the international competitions in Imola, was the frame for the exhibition and offering the public the excitement and bringing to light, in great detail, a story of great drivers and exceptional sporting events.
The exposure of 45 cross-motorcycles pre'65, coming from Italy and Europe after a rigorous selection, provided the people the chance to see pieces of great historical value and conservative. Worthy of reporting, three Gilera Saturno 500 Cross, (including a valuable restoration of an official Gilera of the italian Fiamme d’Oro - Flames of Gold), FN 1949, used by the great Auguste Mingels, the Sarolea 1954, two Lito, the Matchless, Ariel, BSA, Husqvarna, Greeves, Bianchi 400 (of Emilio Ostorero), a rare Hedlund Metisse and more. The composition of the exposed motorbikes was highly representative of the fleet of European and world competitions in Imola. The exhibits were open to the public all day from morning to evening of Saturday and 26 Sunday 27.

Friday, May 25 at 18.00, as the opening event of the event, was held the official presentation of the champions guests open to the public at the Great Hall of the Palace (Renaissance) Sersanti of Imola, the historical site where the golden age often were held award ceremonies and celebrations at the end of races. The public has welcomed the legendary guests with a long and warm applause. The presentation was conducted by the sports journalist Paolo Conti, omnipresent throughout all the stages of the event. The meeting allowed direct contact between champions and the public itself, and a comprehensive presentation of the event, supported by video projection. Refreshments to follow has created an atmosphere of warm hospitality and the first real contact between the samples, after years away.

Saturday 26, in the early afternoon, a pleasant talk show guests with all the drivers, journalists, industry experts and other characters in the sports world has returned to the people emotions, memories, old conflict, course now dormant, rebuilding climate and some salient features of the history of motocross Golden Age.

After long distances in time and space, it was very difficult to make assumptions about the character and disposition of the distinguished guests. In 1965, we left the buffalo indomitable Bill Nilsson, terror off-limits to all competitors; the tenacious Jeff Smith, real steamroller of all world tracks, the elegant and elusive "stork" Sten Lundin, the avalanche Rolf Tibblin nicknamed "Iron man", able to combine style and impetus lion, the tiger Emilio Ostorero, unable to stand on ceremony with the opponents, the master of correctness Torsten Hallman, nicknamed "Mr. Motocross", able to dominate great champions like Joël Robert, the gentleman Les Archer, king of the motocross on English tracks, the brothers Donald and Derek Rickman manufacturers, which the world of motocross will be their eternal debtor, the taciturn giant Gunnar Johansson, the Swedish first actor Lito, the unpredictable angel flying Joseph Cavallero nicknamed " crazy horse ", able of bitter surprises even for the most successful champions, the sympathetic Otto Walz, closely tied to its brand of manufacturer, the tenacious Canzio Tosi, who was able to stop the monologues between Ostorero and Angelini, the tough Albert Courajod, big star of the Swiss cross, the stocky Charles Molinari, boyish face and the French master of the highest category in the fifties. Real rivals on the track, today these myths are back living in Imola as great friends. We have surprisingly meet the biting and comic irony of Jeff Smith, the more english-style Derek Rickman, the confidential nature of Don Rickman, the English fair play of Les Archer, the surprising philosophical wisdom and the gentleness of Rolf Tibblin (likely the result of the last 17 ​​years of life spent in Sri Lanka) and the dissolution of the dark features of the other Scandinavian guests dropped in hilar conviviality of fellow adventurers. Peace is made: the organizers were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

The social dinner on Saturday night in the exhibition, with 180 present, has been a particularly happy time for socializing. The video history of the Motocross Grand Prix in Imola, projected at the time of dessert, he ripped applauded by the public and guests slip back in the magical atmosphere of the sport at the time. The shadow could not hide the tears in many eyes. The dinner was also an opportunity for the exchange of honors and thanks from the President of ASI, adv. Roberto Loi and guests representing Husqvarna Motorcycle and the Moto Club of Cingoli.

Sunday, May 27 morning was dedicated to the Award Ceremony of Champions in Piazza Gramsci, in the center of Imola. Starting from 10.00 am, the ceremony, conducted by the Honor Committee formed by the Mayor Daniele Manca, by the President of ASI adv. Roberto Loi, the Moto Club President Dr. Paolo Castaldini, President of the Moto Club Santerno "Checco Costa" adv. Carlo Costa and the chairmen of other motorcycle clubs and other relevant national associations and Imola (the CRAME, the Moto Club La Stalla, the Moto Club Formula Imola, the Mobile Clinic, the Rotary Club, the Panathlon International, the Study Centre Luigi Einaudi and the Lions Club Valsanterno) was followed by an enthusiastic audience and made the honor due to champions and guests to the city of Imola.

Soon after, the old champions, along with other pilots-collectors, have created an extraordinary historical parade of vintage motocross, starting from the center, has reached the exhibition in the Mineral Waters Park, home of the glorious track. The old champions, now over seventy and over eighty, wore the clothing of the original Golden Era, with the colors of the home countries and without sponsors.

Upon departure of the nineteen bikes in the square was unleashed pandemonium. It was very difficult, in some cases to find the historical clothing for people who no longer had the weight of the past. However, without excessive formalism and weighing more than the substance to appearance, the procession started with the escort of municipal police officers and motorized followed by a trail of lovers riding motorcycles and bicycles. Along the route, residents, patrons of bars and a crowd of onlookers flocked to the streets to applaud. The most magical moment was entering the park's main avenue of Mineral Waters, the old headquarters of the paddock. At the time, during the days of Grand Prix, under the shadow of the rows of linden trees in bloom, they formed a veritable tent city, because the tents and caravans were the only living resources of which the pilots could have. In that world, made up of healthy passion away from the ominous presence of the millionaire market, there were no red carpets. Continuing, the parade has lapped the Park (now protected and made pedestrian area) to reach the exhibition grounds, where another people, who rushed for time, it was crowded to enjoy the arrival: just like old times, when the people at the last lap of the Grand Prix racing run in the finish area to watch the duel for the podium. And the times we had to run, because the track at Imola was a trip into nature that did not allow to have a point of view of the entire path, as is the case in modern fields motocross.

The Competition for Elegance motocross vintage pre-'65, in the early afternoon of Sunday, was the absolute first italian step in the specialty and awarded exemplary high-value under the age profiles, conservation, restoration, the presence into the competition (foreign and italian bikes more present at Imola), innovation and rarity. The seven collectors winners received a beautiful crystal trophy, as well as collectors participants. It's been this way a recognition of their work and the quality of work expressed. Prizes were awarded to the following motorcycle collectors and their owners:


1 - FN 500 cc model 1949-1951 –  award to the senior;

2 - Lito 500 cc model 1961-1965 (belonged to Lars Gustafsson) - award for best restoration;

3 - Bianchi 400 cc model 1960-1961 (belonged to Emilio Ostorero) - award to the best preservation;

4 - 500 cc BSA Gold Star DBD 34 (belonged to Matteo Suppo) award to the foreign bike more present;

5 - Moto Gilera Saturno 500 Cross (belonged by Charles Molinari) – award to the Italian bike more present;

6 - CZ 360 double-tube - special award for innovation (the first 2-stroke 500 class in the history of motocross, who won the last Grand Prix in Imola with Rolf Tibblin, ending the dominance of four strokes);

7 - Moto Parilla 420 Cross - special award to the rarity.

On Sunday afternoon, the performance "THE MOTOCROSS OF YESTERDAY MEETS THE MOTOCROSS TODAY" has seen a significant number of people. It was possible to review in action, along a path bordered over a large area of
​​lawn, very valuable pieces of history like the Gilera Saturno, the Sarolea, the Hedlund, the Matchless, the BSA, the Triumph Metisse , the CZ, the Husqvarna 2-stroke, the Aermacchi Ala d'Oro and others. Together they have hurtled the two champions Andrea Bartolini (born 1968 Imola - World Champion - Class 500/Open 1999) and Alex Salvini (born in 1985 in Bologna - European Champion SX 125 2004 - runner up 2009 and 2010 MX3 – now spent in enduro Husqvarna factory team). The two champions were performed with the latest models from Husqvarna, supplied by the dealer Mr. Cesari of Bologna, on the recommendation of Husqvarna Italy, officially present at the event. For Husqvarna collaborated Martino Bianchi, Andrea Bonfanti and Gianluca Olivieri. The show, which lasted for at least 90 minutes, has proposed an original comparison (non-competitive but historic) between motocross vintage and modern motocross, especially the younger audience by offering a historical overview of the evolution of this exciting, timeless engineering specialties.

He tried again the ASI MOTOCROSS SHOW? The premises are very promising and to think so. And if he will be back, will be enriched with new surprises and novelties. With a warm goodbye and a wish for long life, the audience and the organizers have hailed the legendary veterans of motocross with the belief that it is possible to write other pages of this wonderful history and with the satisfaction of being able to say: I was there!”



                                                   First row; Sten Lundin, Jeff Smith, Derek and Don Rickman


                     First row; Rolf Tibblin, Sivert Ericksson, Gunnar Johansson, Torsten Hallman, Les Archer and Bill Nilsson.





                                                                           Torsten Hallman and Leslie Archer.


                                                                      Sivert Ericksson and Gunnar Johansson


                                                                                       Albert Courajod


                                                                                  Alberto Donati and Bill Nilsson


                                                                 Carlo Costa-The voice of the Autodrome.


                                                                                       Bill Nilsson


                                                                                            Canzio Tosi


                                                                              Claudio Costa and Leslie Archer.


                                                                                           Daniele Manca


                                                                                  Derek and Donald Rickman


                                         Derek Rickman, Leslie Archer, Giuseppe Cavallero and Alberto Donati.


        Derek Rickman-Triumph Metisse, Leslie Archer-Gilera Saturno (Leslie "Norton" Archer on a Gilera?), Otto Walz-Montesa.


                                                                      Emilio Ostorero and Alberto Courajod.


                                                                                         Gianni Altafini


                                                                                               Rolf Tibblin


                                                                                  Gianni Altafini-Gilera Saturno         


                                                                                          Gian Pio Ottone


                                                                                    Giuseppe Cavallero


                                                                        Gunnar Johansson and Torsten Hallman


                                                                                             Jeff Smith


                                                                                                Otto Walz


                                             Rolf Tibblin, Derek Rickman, Gianni Altafini, Gunnar Johansson and Sten Lundin.


                                                            Alberto Courajod on the Matchless in the foreground.


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