Carlo Ubbiali made history carved history with his stellar achievements in the 125cc and 250cc classes.
Legendary MotoGP rider Carlo Ubbiali has, unfortunately, passed away at the age of 90. The Italian rider made history in the early days of motorcycle Grand Prix racing by becoming the first competitor to truly excel the 125cc and 250cc classes.
Ubbiali was born in Bergamo in the year 1929. He took part in the first World Championship season in 1949 and won his first Grand Prix the following year. He claimed his first title in 1951 and collected nine titles in the smaller classes before his retirement in 1960.
His first championship triumph in 1951 was secured onboard a Mondial in the 125cc class. However, in the next season, he lost his crown to MV Agusta rider Cecil Sandford. This is one of the factors which could have played a key role in Ubbiali’s subsequent decision to switch manufacturers. After his move to MV Agusta in 1953, he remained with the company for the rest of his racing days. He then regained the 125cc crown in 1955.
That same season Ubbiali had also participated in his first 250cc race, and it didn’t take him long to begin winning as he became double 125 and 250 World Champion in 1956, winning every race in the quarter-litre category and all but one in the 125 class.
Ubbiali added another 125cc honour to his trophy cabinet in 1958, before rounding out his spectacular career with two more 125 and 250 double title wins in 1959 and 1960.
Ubbiali left the sport at the age of 31 with nine World Championships, which sees him remain one of the most decorated names in the history of the sport, alongside fellow greats such as Giacomo Agostini (15 titles), Angel Nieto (12+1), Mike Hailwood (9), Valentino Rossi (9), and current World Champion Marc Marquez (8).
iMotorbike passes on its condolences to Ubbiali’s family and those affected by his passing.