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Giacomo Agostini, Yamaha Factory rider, part 1

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After Giacomo Agostini joined Yamaha at the end of 1973 he flew to Japan for the first tests with his new toys.

In an old file I rescued from the dump there were these brownish photo contact negatives that I try (I am an amateur) to make a little more nice for you. These pictures were taken when Giacomo Agostini visited Yamaha Motor in Japan for the very first time together with Rodney Gould. It must have been end 1973 or beginning 1974. Nobody in the world has these pictures, so they are absolutely unique. I will try to "work" the other ones later. Some pictures are even "reverse". I really do not know how to solve this !!!! And please realize that you look at a piece of history..............! It all happened 35 years ago. (All pictures re-worked now!)

The first picture shows a young Giacomo Agostini with an equally young Rodney Gould examining probably the contract! I will send them these pictures when I have done them all of course!

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And here Giacomo has his, maybe first taste of a Japanese snack. Handling the chopsticks will not have been too difficult for the man who could, and still can, operate the clutch and throttle so well!

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Apparently Giacomo was enjoying hie Japanese dinner very much!

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Giacomo Agostini was (and is) always a perfectionist in adjusting his bike and transmitting his feelings about settings to the engineers. He did that immediately when he got hold of the Yamaha 0W20 as you can see. (I assume he is not taping his sandwiches to the seat of the bike....!)

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This is the very first picture made of Giacomo Agostini, Yamaha's new star rider, on board of the Yamaha 0W20.

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His cornering is a little easy going in the beginning. Knowing him, we can be sure of that!

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Here Giacomo is going to ride his bike for the very first time. He tries the seatposition, bounches the suspension a little before departing....

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And now he returns from his very first experience in riding the 0W20. The engineers, like Naitoh-San, are awaiting his comments eagerly of course.

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Over the weekend of March 9th, Rodney Gould send me this picture from Giacomo Agostini, after he had won the very important 1974 Season opener, the Daytona 500 miler. He looks very proud (and rightfully!) with this achievement.

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In preparing for the 1974 season we set up "camp" in Misano Adriatico and did some exhaustive testing with the 350 and 500 bikes.

Here you see Giacomo in a pensive mood, talking businnes with, from the left, Mr. Naitoh, Mr. Naito and Mr. Mizoguchi. Both Naitoh's sadly passed away, they were amongst others of course, the "Brainmen" from Yamaha during the 1960's.

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My job was to race between Misano and Milano Airport every other day and pick-up new parts for the machines that were overnight made in Japan. Those were the days when the Japanese said: "Money is no problem, only time is a problem".

I never paid any Importduty! I always had my Yamaha jacket stuffed with Yamaha lighters, badges and stickers and the Customs knew that all these crankshafts, cylinders and exhausts were for "Il Grande Campionissimo", Giacomo Agostini, no problem !!!!!!

More follows of course.....

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