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Lot 478: Garelli Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

When the FIM changed the rules for the 125cc class for 1988, restricting machines to one cylinder, it marked the end of the road for Garelli's outstanding twin-cylinder racer, which had reigned supreme for the preceding six years. Like their rivals, the Italian manufacturer had to start with a clean sheet of paper and should have found building a 125cc single a relatively simple matter, given the fact that it had been developing and racing a 250 twin for the past few years. The single-cylinder engine used the same disc valve induction and 56x50.6mm bore/stroke dimensions as the 250, and was carried in Garelli's trademark aluminium monocoque chassis, the latter sporting a White Power 'upside-down' front fork and monoshock rear suspension for the first time. Team Pileri was entrusted with running the works effort for 1988, the riders being reigning World Champion Fausto Gresini and Spaniard Miguel Reyes (125cc) plus Paolo Casoli (250cc). The season started promisingly enough, Gresini finishing 4th at the opening 125cc round in Spain, but he would only finish in the points on one more occasion and sometimes failed to qualify. Reyes fared slightly better, ending the season in 14th place in the Championship with 34 points. Even so, it was not what Garelli had been used to. Just like that of the ill-starred 250, the 125's rigid monocoque was targeted for criticism and the team tried a stock Honda RS125 twin-spar chassis at Assen (see Lot 11) and also a Moretti frame that looked a lot like a Yamaha TZ250 Deltabox (see Lot 6). Nevertheless, Gresini was still not satisfied and designer Jan Thiel refused to have anything to do with the hybrids, leaving the team in disarray. Garelli's 125 featured various alternative suspension and braking arrangements at this time and '004' incorporates a braced swinging arm, 'right-way-up' front fork and single Brembo front disc brake with 4-piston calliper (an un-braced swinging arm, 'upside-down' fork and twin discs were tried also).

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
Lot Number478
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€6800
Hammer Price (inc premium)€7820
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number004
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)125
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors