Friday, March 23, 2012
And now....a different two-wheeled adventure.
Autodromo di Siracusa is just a few kms from the island of Ortigia. Larry took his shopping bike over there awhile back (but stupidly forgot the camera!) and asked at the gate if they'd let an ex-Superbike pro from America look around. The gate swung open and Larry was met by Matteo Cavalcante who, like Larry wasn't good enough to be a star in motorcycle racing, but WAS good enough to race against some of the top guys of his era. Matteo (and Jessica) treated him like a brother, showing him all around the offices, pulling out old photos from the glory days of the track and telling all about the reconstruction plans they have. Matteo even took Larry for a drive around the circuit in his tiny Fiat Panda, putting his elbow out the window and leaning into the turns as he did in the old days! He stopped on a straight section where there were some lemon trees close by and asked if Larry would like some lemons? Larry jumped out of the car and took a plastic bag from Matteo and helped himself, which was repeated after the track tour with oranges just outside the office door. Too soon it was time to leave but since you can see photos here, a return visit was in order. This time the circuit tour was on a bicycle! They say the sound of racing engines will be heard there again this fall, but they've got a lot of work to do to make this happen. We'll likely be back here next winter so we can check in on the progress. The idea is for a winter testing facility as the circuit is not too hard to get to, with just a ferry ride across the straits of Messina for the race team caravans and the weather is just about perfect in this period. In 2008 a "Desmo Weekend" was held complete with an appearance by Superbike champ Troy Bayliss. We might have more photos in another blog post if there's interest.