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Montjuic Park Rules

This is the frontispiece in Benzina 11 for a lengthy exploration of Montjuïc Park is general and Benjamin Grau in particular: The numbers go like this: Benjamin Grau entered 34 races at Montjuich Park, Barcelona's old street circuit, which in return blessed him with 17 podium finishes and nine wins: one of those victories was at a 125 world championship round, with Grau beating lightweight genius Angel Nieto. Two more wins came aboard big Ducati bevel-twins in 24 hour races, possibly the polar opposite of sprint racing a 125 two-stroke. Welcome, then, to Mr Versatile, and one of the world’s least appreciated race tracks. Mr - Senor, actually, although versatile is right - Grau was born on 19 August 1945 to a motorcycling and Barcelonan dynasty, making him Catalan rather than Spanish in this proudest of cities. The distinction was recognised by Ducati when they named a limited edition 750F1 after the circuit. Laverda had previously dubbed their 500 sportster Montjuic, which is (almost, bar the omitted accent over the i) the Spanish spelling. When Bultaco showed a prototype 360cc sportster in the mid-Seventies, they also used the Montjuic moniker, this time with the accented i. But Ducati's celebration of Grau's four wins in the 24 Horas aboard a 748cc TTI was called the Montjuich, favouring the Catalan spelling. And so, throwing convention and English reserve to the wind, let's do likewise here. Which also means calling the race the 24 Hores de Montjuich, despite calling Ducati Mototrans - based in Barcelona – calling their 250 single the 24 Horas. Perhaps their export manager wisely counselled that the world wasn't ready for a motorcycle called 24 Hores. More on the 250 in Benzina 14




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