Regular WorldSBK photographers offer a special photo from their archive
The photographer: Guglielmo ‘Mimmo’ Maggiali
Guglielmo Maggiali is the most veteran photographer out of those who follow the championship regularly. Florence-based newspaper La Nazione frequently publishes his photos, which are also distributed to other newspapers and magazines through agencies. “I started with the Franco Fillani agency in 1977, following the World Championship, before it was called MotoGP. I would help Fillani”, remembers Maggiali, who is called ‘Mimmo’ by everyone. “After that I started introducing myself step by step into the job, until in 1989 I began following WorldSBK races as a freelance, something I still do to this day”. Almost 30 years in the championship capturing the WorldSBK machines in movement, except for a small hiatus during which he shot some F1 races.
The photo: Simoncelli’s sole SBK® appearance
The story goes as follows: In 2009, Marco Simoncelli received an invitation from Aprilia Racing to take hold of the factory Aprilia RSV4 at the Imola Round, substituting Shinya Nakano who was out injured. With little time before the race and having no previous experience on a four-stroke machine, the Italian rider – then the 250cc World Champion – accepted the proposal and, after falling in free practice and having to retire in Race One, managed to climb onto the podium in Race Two, behind race-winner Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga. His one-time teammate, Max Biaggi, was fourth. This turned out to be Simoncelli’s only appearance in WorldSBK, but it was enough to leave his mark. ‘Mimmo’ Maggiali remembers it this way:
“I chose this picture of Marco because he was the rider I felt the most sympathy towards, the one I liked the most – he was a rider that always gave it his all. In the pre-race interview there, in the Paddock Show, someone asked him if he would finish ahead of Biaggi. He said that if everything went well, he would – and he did! He had fallen twice in free practice before that, at Tossa. If I ran through my archive I could probably find pictures that were better, but I chose this pic in admiration of Simoncelli”.