Walter Villa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Walter Villa
Villa, Walter auf Harley 250 cm³ 1976-08-28.jpg
Walter Villa in 1976 at the Nürburgring
Nationality Italian
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1967 - 1980
First race 1967 125cc West German Grand Prix
Last race 1980 250cc Czechoslovakian Grand Prix
First win 1974 250cc Nations Grand Prix
Last win 1979 250cc Venezuelan Grand Prix
Team(s) Harley-Davidson
Championships 250cc-1974, 1975, 1976
350cc- 1976
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
72 24 36 14 20

Walter Villa (born August 13, 1943 - June 18, 2002) was an Italian four-time Grand Prix motorcycle road racing world champion. He was known for his quiet, unassuming nature off the bike who became a ruthless competitor once the races began.[1]

Motorcycle racing career[edit]

Villa was born in Castelnuovo Rangone in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, between Maranello and Modena, the heart of Italian motor sport country. Villa began racing at 13, on a 175cc Moto Morini. In his first race, he finished third, beating Giacomo Agostini, who went on to become Italy's greatest-ever bike racer.[1]

In the early 1970s, Harley-Davidson bought the ailing Aermacchi factory near Milan, with the aim of selling a range of bikes from 125cc machines to complement the traditional big V-twins built in the USA. First, they marketed Aermacchi's horizontal single cylinder four-strokes, and then began to develop their own two-strokes.[2]

The Aermacchi / Harley-Davidson factory hired Walter Villa for their racing effort in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing circuit after the death of Renzo Pasolini at Monza in May 1973. During the winter of 1973 -1974, the factory under the direction of Dr. Sandro Colombo, made huge progress in developing their machines in order to compete with Yamaha. This progress allowed Villa to take victory in the 1974 championship, with Villa winning the first 250 cc championship race of the year - in Italy by 45 seconds.

He went on to win the 1975 and 1976 250cc world championship together with the 350cc title in 1976.[3]

In addition to the four World titles, he won eight Italian Championships.[1] After he retired at the end of the 1980 season, Villa became a key player in the grand prix historic motorsport circuit, riding in high speed demonstrations in addition to becoming his country's top trainer.

He died of a heart attack aged 58, on June 18, 2002.

Grand Prix motorcycle racing results[3][edit]

Points system from 1950 to 1968:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6
Points 8 6 4 3 2 1

Points system from 1969 onwards:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points Rank Wins
1967 125cc Montesa ESP
-
GER
4
FRA
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
CAN
-
JPN
-
3 15th 0
1969 125cc Montesa ESP
3
18 11th 0
Villa GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
NAT
4
YUG
-
250cc Villa ESP
-
GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
NC
YUG
NC
0 - 0
1970 125cc Villa GER
-
FRA
18
YUG
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
10
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
NAT
6
ESP
-
6 29th 0
1972 350cc Yamaha GER
-
FRA
-
AUT
-
NAT
7
IOM
-
YUG
-
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
4 28th 0
1973 250cc Yamaha FRA
10
AUT
7
GER
8
IOM
-
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
8 26th 0
350cc Kawasaki FRA
6
23 11th 0
Yamaha AUT
2
GER
-
Benelli NAT
5
IOM
-
YUG
-
NED
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
1974 250cc Harley-Davidson GER
-
NAT
1
IOM
-
NED
1
BEL
6
SWE
2
FIN
1
CZE
1
YUG
-
ESP
-
77 1st 4
350cc Harley-Davidson FRA
-
GER
-
AUT
6
NAT
4
IOM
-
NED
9
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
15 16th 0
1975 250cc Harley-Davidson FRA
-
ESP
1
GER
1
NAT
1
IOM
-
NED
1
BEL
3
SWE
1
FIN
-
CZE
-
YUG
-
85 1st 5
350cc Harley-Davidson FRA
-
ESP
8
AUT
-
GER
-
NAT
-
IOM
-
NED
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
YUG
-
3 36th 0
1976 250cc Harley-Davidson FRA
1
NAT
1
IOM
-
NED
1
BEL
1
SWE
-
FIN
1
CZE
1
GER
1
ESP
2
90 1st 7
350cc Harley-Davidson FRA
1
AUT
2
NAT
7
IOM
-
NED
-
FIN
1
CZE
1
GER
1
ESP
6
76 1st 4
1977 250cc Harley-Davidson VEN
1
GER
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
FRA
-
YUG
-
NED
4
BEL
1
SWE
-
FIN
1
CZE
2
GBR
9
67 3rd 3
350cc Harley-Davidson VEN
-
GER
7
NAT
7
ESP
-
FRA
-
YUG
-
NED
8
SWE
-
FIN
8
CZE
-
GBR
-
14 18th 0
1978 250cc Harley-Davidson VEN
-
ESP
-
FRA
-
NAT
-
NED
-
BEL
3
SWE
-
FIN
-
GBR
-
GER
-
CZE
8
YUG
-
13 16th 0
1979 250cc Yamaha VEN
1
GER
-
NAT
4
ESP
5
YUG
-
NED
9
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
5
GBR
-
CZE
9
FRA
-
39 7th 1
350cc Yamaha VEN
2
AUT
5
GER
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
YUG
-
NED
3
FIN
-
GBR
-
CZE
-
FRA
3
38 7th 0
1980 250cc Yamaha NAT
-
ESP
-
FRA
-
YUG
9
NED
-
BEL
-
FIN
-
GBR
-
CZE
9
GER
-
4 29th 0
350cc Yamaha NAT
3
FRA
6
NED
-
GBR
10
CZE
-
GER
-
16 9th 0

References[edit]


Preceded by
Dieter Braun
250cc Motorcycle World Champion
1974-1976
Succeeded by
Mario Lega
Preceded by
Johnny Cecotto
350cc Motorcycle World Champion
1976
Succeeded by
Takazumi Katayama