The multiple world motorcycle champion, Italian Giacomo Agostini, consolidated his lead in the race for 1972 world championship points on Sunday (21st May) by winning comfortably the 350 c.
The multiple world motorcycle champion, Italian Giacomo Agostini, consolidated his lead in the race for 1972 world championship points on Sunday (21st May) by winning comfortably the 350 c.c. motorcycle event in the Nations' Grand Prix at Imola, near Bologna, in northern Italy.
Agostini (No.1) on an MV Agueta rode in his usually immaculate style to win the 28-lap, 87-mile (140 km) event with a time of 51 minutes and 47.4 seconds. Fellow-Italian Renzo Pasolini finished second riding an Aermacchi with a time of 52 minutes and 24.5 seconds. Jarno Saarinen of Finland, riding a Yamaha, was third.
The Italians entered a strong field for the major home meeting, with twelve riders out of a total of thirty. Only eighteen competitors finished the race.
Agostini's win put him two championship points ahead of his nearest rival Saarinen in the 350 c.c. class, with a total of 50 points. A win in the 500 c.c. race at the same meeting gave him a 36-point lead in this class with a total of 60 points.
SYNOPSIS: In the Northern Italian town of Imola on Sunday, Italian and World Champion rider Giacomo Agostini was among the thirty riders preparing for the start of the Nations' Grand Prix 350 cc event. Finland's Jarno Saarinen, Kanaya of Japan, and Philip Read of England were among the international competitors hoping to take the honours in the Italian-dominated race. For these riders, winning the event would mean valuable points towards the 1972 World Championship.
Italy's Renzo Pasolini on Number Two duelled with Number Six, Saarinen of Finland, throughout the 28-lap 87-mile race.
Twelve riders had been forced to retire by the time the favourite, Agostini, swept past the chequered flag to take first place.
The win strengthened Agostini's claim for the 1972 World Championship title. It put him tow points ahead of Finland's Saarinen, who took third place in the race, behind Pasolini.