Last weekend, the second Italian minibike series in the season commenced. GP (that is the boyfriend) has a bike/rider in this series every year to hone his engine and chassis building, tuning and team management skills. We went to support the new engine and to have some fun.
Minibike racing (50-80cc two stroke and 125cc fourstroke) is a big thing in Italy. It’s professional, very competitive and draws a big crowd. There is quite a bit of money involved, as in most racing, but not usually minibike racing. There is also just as much posturing as any other racing series, with photos and numbers of the pilots on the side of race rigs and campers. And of course a lot of guys who think they may as well be in the world championship just because they won a few races. They tend to wear their shades any time they are not on the track.
The bikes must all line up at the starting gate before the ten minute qualifying.
Lunch break is an hour and a half. People pull out the long tables and BBQs and tons of food. And wine, which everyone drinks including the pilots. This is normal for any lunch in Italy. Why should racing be an exception? Why indeed.
They also indulge in harder spirits before the races. For real.
The racing itself is pretty exciting, with lots of shouting and cheering from the sidelines and crowds. I don’t have any photos because they look like any other racing photos you have seen. Throughout, GP wrenched on his bikes. And yes, his rider won all his races.
Dinner in the little town was so stereotypically what Americans think of when they imagine Italy, it was almost embarrassing. Just look at this guy. Of course he is making pizza.
The pizza was delicious but it was the mustache that deserved an award.
Incidentally, this guy is probably from Southern Italy by the looks of him. Northerners generally hold a lot of resentment against the South. I even saw graffiti in this town that said Dio salve il Nord – God save the North. However the transplants who come to work in the North are respected, because unlike the rest of the South, they are working.
And that, my friends, is your cultural lesson for the day.