Do you remember World Superbike rider Fabrizio Pirovano? The name might not ring a bell, but he was one of the first entrants of the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) when it started in 1988.
Though he was consistent podium placer, he never won a championship. Nonetheless, Pirovano lent credibility and prestige to the new racing series, encouraging many others to join, making it the popular alternative to MotoGP that it is known for today.
To honor him, Yamaha Motor Europe built a replica of his WSBK race bike out of a modern Yamaha R1.
Fabrizio Pirovano during the 1990 WSBK season
After the 2020 WSBK finale at Estoril, Portugal, Pirovano’s close friend Alessandro Gramigni took the replica R1 for a tribute lap. The bike was then put up for auction to the highest bidder.
At the auction, the bike raised €27,000 (₱1.540 million) with all the proceeds going to charitable causes.
The Piro replica was sold to an anonymous buyer, with all of the €27,000 now being donated to cancer research charity Fondazione Oncologia Niguarda Onlus, which the Pirovano family has supported since Fabrizio’s passing.
The Piro Replica R1 is based on a standard Yamaha R1, featuring the famous white, pink and blue livery of Pirovano’s race-winning #5 Yamaha YZF 750 SP. The Italian competed during the early years of WSBK with Yamaha, finishing runner-up on two occasions. He retired in 2006 and sadly passed away from cancer in 2016.