The professionals that follow the Championship reveal a special photo from their archive
The photographer: Fabrizio Porrozzi
Fabrizio Porrozzi collaborated during many years with specialized magazines such as Spanish publication Solo Moto, or Motorcycle News from the UK, amongst others. He currently publishes his work in Motosprint and has done since 1982, which is at present the only motorcycling weekly in Italy.
Porrozzi began as a photographer in 1980 and arrived to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in 1989. Between 1993 and 1999 he worked exclusively covering WorldSBK. He was also Ducati’s official photographer in WorldSBK, when in 1999 the Italian manufacturer offered him to move to MotoGP, working on both championships from 1999 to 2010. “I think I’ve covered the most exciting MotoGP years”, the veteran professional says. “After that I decided that I couldn’t do so much, and that I would just focus on this world championship, although I do work on some national championships in Italy”.
The photo: Analogical perfection
Porrozzi suggests this photograph from 1989, taken at the French circuit of Paul Ricard and with American rider Freddie Merkel as its protagonist. “Merkel was crowned WorldSBK champion that year and it was the first world championship won by Pirelli. That picture is very special because in 1989 auto-focus had not been invented yet, so you had to choose a point on the track where the bikes would go by and shoot at the most precise moment. And you had no certainty of getting a perfect pic. In this case it happened: it’s a very particular photo, with both wheels in the air. Now it’s a lot easier to take a photo like this because of auto-focus, but back then things weren’t so simple. I was lucky, because I managed to take it. I’ve found another five pics of that moment and all of them were out of focus, and were thus missed opportunities – this is the only good one.
“Back then I used a Nikon FM and a 300mm f4 lens, all manual, even inserting the tape of course (laughs). That photo was not published anywhere if I remember correctly, but Pirelli used it to make a poster celebrating the title”.