The Italian Almanac

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Gilera motorbike

Italian News - February 22

After an absence of 13 years, legendary Italian motorcycle maker Gilera is to return to the 250cc class in world championship racing. The team, which returned to the 125cc category in 2001, presented the bike and rider with which it will compete in the quarter litre category in Milan on Tuesday.

The team has hired Italian riders for both bikes, which display the company's traditional intersecting rings logo, a reminder of the racing team's glory days in the 1950s. Marco Simoncelli, 19, has moved from Aprilia's 125cc team to ride the 250cc machine. Simone Corsi, 18, will race the 125cc bike after spending last year on an Aprilia 250.

When Gilera began its return to world championship racing in 2001, Manuel Poggiali immediately won the world title in the 125 class.