April 23, 1972.
Ducati takes first and second place at the Imola 200. Won by Paul Smart, second place went to Bruno Spaggiari. Both were aboard Ducati Desmodromic L-twin 750 machines that were making their racing debuts.
At the Barber Vintage Festival dinner last year the ever young Mr. Smart charmed us all with his story of that race, from being offered the ride…
– to winning the race.
He told us all that he was extremely underwhelmed with the bike after his first practice. He thought the bike was a bit of a slug, with little acceleration when compared to the frantic screaming power-band of the two-strokes he had mostly been riding up until that event. It flashed through his mind that taking the ride might have been a mistake.
Yet by the end of that same practice he returned to the paddock and was shocked to find he had the track record! Gives you goosebumps and a chuckle all at the same time.
Ducati has post a short tribute video