Massimo Pierobon: interview with the magician of the frames

Massimo Pierobon: interview with the magician of the frames

For the first appointment of the column ” Al Massimo, storie da box “, we interview Massimo Pierobon, the magician of racing frames.

By Emanuele Furiassi – DAT Owners Club 748 916 996 998.

On a Saturday autumn morning, of those with fine fog and the first yellow leaves on the ground, I take the car to go to Bologna from the “welder of emotions” : Massimo Pierobon. His family, his history, his workshop, his charisma is an institution for us duchies.

I begin with him the column dedicated to Massimo Tamburini entitled “Al Massimo, storie da box “. At the end of the 3rd DAT OWNERS CLUB Meeting last 2019 we anticipated it in pills with small interviews with the main guests.

You say Ducati and think about Tamburini’s 916,you say shave frame and think of Pierobon. First of all thank you for hosting me and dedicated your precious time in this delicate and complex period. Who better than you can describe master Tamburini to us at 360 °.

“Tamburini was the Master, La 916 and his sisters came to the tip of their fingers… because you have these things in you… the software comes after.”

Massimo Pierobon great agonist, how was it from the sport to enter the working world and support your dad? What triggered your spring? Because it’s not an easy job… was it passion?

“I remember from an early age I had it… I started with the Graziella, I never stood still: with the emery and blade. I cut off his back rack and did it all over again.

I was once coming from home to Borgo Panigale and i unscrewed the rod of the pedal beet. I was close to ncr and Giorgione with two hammers worked me down and sent me to my father’s workshop. At the time I didn’t think about going to the bar and out of swimming, on Saturdays and Sundays I would help my father for the races: I cut a tube, I prepared little pieces…

I was looking at the people around me and I came up like this in the shop.

I continued to study then, after finishing high school, I did a short time at Verlicchi’s in the prototype and racing department and then I started to support my dad Riccardo. He was someone who only told you once, you had to be quick to understand, look and learn. The second time was already too much. If you asked him <<why do I have to do this?>> he would answer you <<why do you do that>> and there weren’t so many turns of words. Over the years, I’ve put mine in it. I developed different things and adapted, but the school was that: look, understand and ride.

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We said about Tamburini: how would you define it? Genius, visionary, artist?

He was an artist to me because he was one who put these things together.

There is precisely that saying: the craftsman is the one who works with his hands, the artist works with the heart, with the head and with his hands. You have to have things first inside and then create them in front of you, already knowing how they will come out. By the way, he was also born in the workshop. He once said, one day they’re going to call me an engineer, but he wasn’t an engineer… and that makes you understand what man was like. For the correct drafting of the work you must have it inside.

What was his figure to you?

Admiration, because it works with empathy.

Like here: you have a project in mind, then you see it , and finally you create it. It’s not easy to explain. When you’re an artist things are done first and then you draw… many artists have been lost because they have left no working method or something concrete.

The Tamburini man was driven by passion, so he already knew what one of the goals was to be, it had to be a project that gave off heat.

A motorcycle is something that has yourself inside, your soul, you’re the one doing it. Unlike the car, the bike is there, You see it all: from the tank, to the frame, to the exhaust must be a sinuous, harmonious thing… The bike is an open watch.

It’s so big a mechanic, it has to be beautiful everywhere in the end.

You have to see it with your eyes closed before it’s done.

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When 916 came out, how was the effect it had on you and the racing environment in general?

I’m going to say that my dad had seen her some time before… I’m going to have a little bit of a little bit…

The thing that still makes me gooseasskin come to me even now was when at Fiera Milano it was shown to the world. You know the people, the lights, their warmth, the cast… when they were removed the veil was the Boom.

It was so maniacal for a production bike: the striped vitine, its assembly, the binding of the saddle support with the guide… in a classic medium of production you don’t find it. Now no one notices us anymore. Doing all this costs, in fact, it was a dear bike. Tamburini wanted it so… and a few pugnettes, the project in fact underwent many discussions from the prototype to the production.

It was an epochal jump from 851/888… if there had not been Tamburini, there would not have been such a big jump, perhaps there would have been an Evo of the 888 as a physiognomy and construction of the vehicle.

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How did your pit career start and then the official Ducati team?

The first thing I went to see was the Bol d’Or : the 24h at the Paul Ricard in 1986 when 851 (the experimental 748 IE) was done.

In August I remember in the workshop with us my father with Farnè and Bordi to put together the frame of the 4 valves.

I was there to help make the prototype to put on track with the heads still made of wood for the dimensions. The bike was over and with my dad we left.

I must have had it up there 15 years.

Meanwhile I was watching, there was Virginio Ferrari and Marco Lucchinelli… it was a very strong emotion: the start, the night, the quick changes and from there something moved and I realized that I had to do that.

Being then a historical builder I have come to the top : if you behave well and if you put a little bit of yourself into everything, the work comes back to you.

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Has the chassis in racing evolved over the years even according to displacements?

Yes there were small updates, but the biggest step was done with the arrival of the 104 engine because it was a bit hanged, we added some reinforcements.

In the general ergonomics of the bike it was fine… the bike was moving well and the results were seen.

She won with so ridersso it means she was born well.

Merits and defects?

Any rider who got on it won.

It also came in front of houses that had been there for so many years. Another advantage is that the bike on the market came out “racing”. practically only license plate and headlights had been added to him.

Flaws: the physique. The wrists and forearms on the street were very loaded.

Driving precision, which went in symbiosis with the twin-cylinder engine with its torque and its engine brake.

Difference from the standard frame?

Frame welded to Tig and not Mig and obvious improvements on tolerances.

Let’s talk about a pair of canvases. Can you tell us about the experiment on the 996 Racing with adjustable swingarm rod…

massimo_pierobonIt was a study that we did in 2000, Filippo Preziosi asked us to go and vary the chain shot.

It was just a test because the regulation didn’t allow you but then it was introduced as standard on the 999.

Second gem: the two-arm swingarm in the Phillip Island tests?

The bi-arm hole framework tube in winter testing at Phillip Island. Before Australia he had filmed at Mugello.

We were looking for a little more rigidity. There was still no knowledge of the monoarm.

It was done without even believing so much, then by the way Carl was not the best of the testers: he was one who gave us gas even on a wheelbarrow … once he continued to turn noticing the shock absorber that broke out, with the bike going all over the place.

It was done to do a test but then also commercially it was decided that it was better to continue with the traditional bike.


What was the most beautiful place on the calendar where you were going to run?

Phillip Island was ignorant strong, the place you are, the ocean, Australia… I used to go there in three days to bring some materials and come back.

Laguna Seca.. aaah California, you have a couple of villages in the reserve, with all the onion (onion) and garlic (garlic) plantations almost close to Mexico. Nice place loaded!

England also has its own charm: everything is very hot there, the British “push” audience pushes all riders from the first to the last… for them they are all heroes.

In Italy, then, you know in the end you are at home… I’m talking mostly about Misano, you know my wife is right there…

I remember the golden years with people stopping on the highway to get in and the motorcycle serpentoni… all the red tanks lined up to park outside between 916, the
the old supersports.

This stretch of Ducati at the entrance of the racetrack to see the Superbike.

Given the mine of some dusty memories, we will come down other times for a couple of specials.

SBK a Jerez: avanti tutta!

A Jerez de la Frontera, seconda tappa del campionato SBK, si ri-accende lo spettacolo con Ducati protagonista. Doppietta di Redding e secondo posto in gara 2 per Davies.

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