Flat Track is not only about racing, it's also about friendship and sharing the love for motorcycles. That's why we decided to invite an amazing rider and good friend to join us on the track for the second date of Dust & Fun. Here's Gilles' experience from his last race:

"I have always been a massive Deus fan, and I love the events they organize. So when Deus invited me to compete at the Dust & Fun in Lonigo, Italy - the country that exudes style - I didn't hesitate for a second. It was a "double header" race weekend, with two days of racing back-to-back.

I participated in the Thunder Bike class on the Honda 650 framer of Niko Sorbo (The organizer of this event), and the Vintage Class on Alessandro Rossi's Bultaco Astro 360. Both classes had a strong entry of fast riders, and I knew it was going to be a challenging weekend (but also a lot of fun!). After arriving in Milan on Friday mid-day, I stopped by Deus for a delicious lunch - I never miss a good meal at the Deus Cafe when I'm around. Then, I prepped the Astro with Marco Donati, my teammate for the weekend, and we set off for Lonigo. Usually, I go to races with my own van, gear, and bikes, and my friends count on me for logistics, tools, and food during race weekends. It was a relief to not have to arrange everything myself for once.

We arrived at the track on Friday evening and had dinner at a restaurant styled after vintage speedway, with posters, pictures, bikes, and gear all around. It was magical! However, I couldn't sleep because the neighbors at the hotel were having a romantic rendezvous, which lasted for an hour and twenty minutes before it finally quieted down enough for me to get some much-needed sleep.

Lonigo's oval track is well-known, and the 400m long track is considered one of the best dirt tracks in Italy, having existed for over 70 years. The track changed with every lap throughout the weekend, making racing very competitive and interesting. It took me a day to understand both bikes and adjust them to my preferred riding style. The Astro was the hardest one, since I was competing against Triumph 750's and a Harley XR750, so I had to get the gearing and setup as perfect as possible to keep up with those beasts. The heats were exhilarating, with great battles and riders trying high lines, low lines, and even triangle-shaped lines to overtake each other. Every time we exited the track, we exchanged high fives, fist bumps, and big smiles. It took me the whole first day to find my groove. During the day, we had lunch together, and everyone shared their different racing experiences and stories. On day one, I got second place in the Thunder final behind Italian rider Sami Panseri, but the Vintage final didn't go well. I was battling for second place with French rider Antonin when I dove low to squeeze through and hit the brakes a bit too hard, causing the engine to stop, and I couldn't get it running again in time.

Day two was better, with the heats going well in both Vintage and Thunder classes. I had a first place and a second pick on starting position in the finals. However, in the last qualifying heat for Vintage class, I lost power in the Astro while in first position. In the Thunder final, they watered the track just before the race, creating better grip. I ended up with the holes hot, but hit a wet spot entering the turn and went down, with a pack of riders on my tail. Marco hit my front wheel but was able to save the bike from crashing. I couldn't restart my bike after falling, which disqualified me from the race.

I watched the vintage race from the sideline cheering for my friends. After the races we pack our bikes and gear and get ready to hit the road, we say goodbye have some hugs, spray some prosecco and leave with a full heart and a big smile.

I'm now writing with my heart still buzzing from an amazing weekend with old & new friends. This is what racing is about, the stories, the joy, the laughs, the pain, the dirt... oh man...Philippe Bergeron’s Harley XR750 has a sticker on the exhaust ‘choose life’ it is so accurate! I choose life and choose racing and I love it!
I’m really looking forward for the upcoming dates"


Info & Registration for the upcoming dates of Dust & Fun Cup 2023 - HERE

ph. @chrifussi
words. @gilleee 


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