World Superbike: RIP Fabrizio Pirovano (1960 - 2016)

One of the original contenders in the early World Superbike Championship years passes away at age 56 after a battle with cancer

world superbike, rip fabrizio pirovano, suzuki, yamaha, world supersport champion 1997, monza
One of the original contenders in the early years of the World Superbike Championship, Fabrizio Pirovano finished runner-up in the series in '88 and '90, and won the World Supersport title in '98.Photo courtesy of WorldSBK.com

Fabrizio Pirovano, a consistent top finisher during the fledgling years of the World Superbike Championship, passed away on June 12 after a battle with cancer. The likeable Italian and former World Supersport champion was 56 years old.

Hailing from Biassono, a municipality in the province of Monza and Brianza in the Lombardy region of Italy, Pirovano was renowned for his hard-charging style on his Yamaha OW01 superbike during the World Superbike Championship seasons from 1988 to 1993, before switching to a Ducati 916 for the last two years of his WSBK career in '94 and '95. During that career Pirovano garnered 10 wins, and a total of 47 podium finishes. He also competed in the hotly contested Italian championship, winning the title five times (1987, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994). Pirovano moved to the European Open Championship in '95, and when the World Supersport series was created in '97, he moved from the Alstare Corona Ducati 748 to an Alstare Corona Suzuki GSX-R600 in '98 and won the title with five victories.

world superbike, rip fabrizio pirovano, suzuki, yamaha, world supersport champion 1997, monza
Pirovano was a mainstay in the World Superbike Championship top ten aboard his Belgarda Yamaha OW01, taking 10 victories and 47 podium finishes.Photo courtesy of WorldSBK.com

Today Pirovano was given a final farewell lap around his favorite Monza circuit aboard a special hearse motorcycle sidecar. More than 1,000 motorcyclists showed up to accompany Pirovano around the course, and his memorial service was attended by numerous racing friends, including Max Biaggi, Troy Corser, Luca Cadalora, Giacomo Agostini, Roberto Locatelli, Ezio Gianola, Paolo Casoli, and Davide Tardozzi. The president of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Pierlorenzo Zanchi, also promised that a turn at the circuit will soon be named after Pirovano.