Lambretta in MotoGP 125, WTF?

The provisional 2010 MotoGP 125cc Rider list was released today with two riders, Italians Luis Salom and Marco Ravaioli, representing team “Lambretta Reparto Corse” (“Lambretta Racing Department”) Surely, this is a joke, right? One can name a team whatever one likes, but both have “Lambretta” listed as their bike for the season. Both riders were abandoned by Chinese manufacturer Loncin, I can imagine one of the several entities posing as “Lambretta” these days sponsoring a 125cc GP team, but surely they will not be riding anything resembling a Lambretta, modern or vintage, on the track?

Thanks for the tip, Cy.

7 thoughts on “Lambretta in MotoGP 125, WTF?”

  1. Wow, dsmith65, thanks…

    This is bizarre, on so many levels. A british graphic designer is somehow involved, promising on his Twitter feed (last September) that “A New Lambretta is coming. Official.” Which of the many is he referring to? Is this just another case of FIne White Line licensing the name to yet another company? Will these be rebadged Loncins? I’m still lost.

  2. LinkedIn shows a John Scully listed as a director at someplace called Lambretta Design in the UK. This could be part of FWL or yet another company with purchased rights. He could also be an employee or contractor for FWL. His Twitter post would seem to maybe confirm the prototype design displayed at EICMA late last year.

    I don’t know much about MotoGP but it would appear that we’re really just talking about the engines (as used on scooters) and not actually scooters themselves in any form of racing?

    The press photo is clearly a Photoshop job. As with anything FWL seems to touch, it’s all confusing, disorganized, and poorly done. I find it hard to believe anyone would actually pay them to do any sort of brand development or marketing work. They come across as hacks lucky to have secured the rights to the Lambretta name in the first place. Their company tag line should read “Random shit with a Lambretta sticker”

  3. I think the team is real as to get on the FIM list you have to be fairly legit. This doesn’t take a lot, but It’s probably the former Loncin team in it’s entirety and the same 2006 or 7 Aprilia RSW125 (I think they ran a Honda the year before) that they ran last year to little success. Salom was a top redbull rookie and rode for a good team last year. You just need a modest budget to get on the grid. So if a sponsor was willing to kick down a few hundred thousand, you can have a team.

  4. Yeah, Brooke, that all makes sense, but the question is, “Why?”

    Why would any of the various Lambretta licensees want to spend that much money to sponsor a fairly big-time racing team?

  5. They aren’t that big of a racing team. They are in a ‘big league’ but the on the smaller end of teams. It is a good question as to why they’d want to do it. One thing that has been known to happen in the last few years of Grand Prix and WSBK/WSS racing is teams going under because promised sponsorship money doesn’t come through. Loncin was Chinese motor manufacturer so their pile of cash was fairly reliable. If the new Lambretta has essentiall the same players, it may be that it’s still Loncin, but Loncin will be making the new Lambretta. If it’s just some local businessmen with a dream and a prayer, then expect early to mid season announcements that the team will not be traveling to non-European rounds and then even canceling their participation in those. My money is on Chinese backing, for better or for worse.

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