In our round-ups of the EICMA show of Milan, I am not sure if we have saved the best for last, but we certainly have saved the most important for last. There has been no shortage of news from MV Agusta this month already, and the Italian brand ran a skillful guerrilla campaign in Milan this year - a show that takes place in the company's own backyard.
With the capital increase comes a change in the leadership structure at MV Agusta, with Giovanni Castiglioni continuing as the company’s President, while investor Timur Sardarov takes on the role of the company’s new CEO and Chairman of the Board.
This arrangement should mean that Castiglioni will focus on the day-to-day business of MV Agusta and its product lineup, while Sardarov will mind the company’s financial future and big-picture strategy, including the company’s new business plan.
In what has to be the most strongly worded press release we have seen in this business, MV Agusta and Forward Racing made it crystal clear why there were terminating their relationship with rider Romano Fenati, who was set to join the Italian company’s Moto2 project next season.
“In all my years of watching sport, I have never seen behavior as dangerous as this,” said MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni. “A rider who can act like this can never represent the values of our company for our brand. For this reason, we do not want him to be the rider with which MV Agusta makes its return to the World Championship.”
Even those who don’t follow motorcycle racing are talking about Fenati’s actions from this past weekend’s San Marino GP, where the 22-year-old Italian grabbed the brake lever of Stefano Manzi, as the pair raced at over 130 mph.
MV Agusta will make a historic return to grand prix racing, announcing its plans today to race in the Moto2 Championship with Forward Racing. The news has been rumored and talked about for quite some time, in some form or another, but now the ink has dried on the deal, and it is officially official.
As such, MV Agusta will build a custom chassis around the Triumph 765 three-cylinder engine and provide factory technical assistance to the team, while Forward Racing handles the day-to-day items running the Moto2 squad.
The new race bike is expected to make its debut in July of this year, and be on the grid for the 2019 season – when Moto2 switches from Honda to Triumph spec-engines.
In Episode 3 of the MOTR Podcast, I sit down with MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni, for a one-on-one talk about his iconic motorcycle company.
As you can imagine from the events over the past few years, our conversation focused on where MV Agusta has been, where it sits now, and where it is heading for the future.
During the interview, Castiglioni explains the issues MV Agusta has faced, and outlines the firms new, new business plan going forward. The conversation is an interesting insight into MV Agusta’s business workings, and the young CEO is more than candid.
Those who look back fondly on the Cagiva brand will be happy to hear that it will be officially revived as a motorcycle brand, with models set to debut later this year, for the 2019 model year.
Before you envision a modern take on the Cagiva Elefant however, this news comes with the caveat that Cagiva will serve as MV Agusta Motor’s foray into the electric two-wheeled space.
We are cautious to label this endeavor however, as the new Cagiva will operate in a segment of vehicle that hasn’t really been created yet – a type of electric two-wheeler that is somewhere between an e-bike and a full-blown electric motorcycle, like what Alta and Zero are producing.
Asphalt & Rubber is coming to you from Varese, Italy this week, as we get ready to ride the Euro4-spec Brutale 800 RR.
Before we ride tomorrow though, we had a chance to sit down with MV Agusta boss, Giovanni Castiglioni, and pick his brain on a variety of subjects (keep an eye on the MOTR podcast for the full interview).
Revealing a few company secrets to us, as all good Italian CEOs do, Castiglioni has provided more insight on the company’s new four-cylinder platform, which will begin to debut this year, likely at November’s EICMA show, but possibly before then.
Described to us as “like Leon Camier’s bike, but without fairings”, the new Brutale 1000 will be the first of three models using the Italian company’s four-cylinder platform.
A bit of a housekeeping item, but today it was announced that MV Holding has completed the acquisition of the shares that were previously held by Mercedes AMG, thus effectively removing the German brand from the Italian motorcycle company’s business operations.
MV Agusta has finally closed a very important funding round, getting equity investment from ComSar Invest, which is backed by the Black Ocean Group, which in turn is owned by Russian billionaire Timur Sardarov.
The details of the ComSar deal however have not been disclosed, though we do know that the deal includes enough cash to finish MV Agusta’s recapitalization plan with its creditors and to begin its new, more focused, business plan for new models and motorcycle production.
An intersection between the designers and engineers at MV Agusta’s Castiglioni Research Centre, RVS is what happens when you let designers be free with their imaginations, and you let engineers create those ideas unfettered – at least, so says MV Agusta.
The result for this fist iteration is a very unique looking MV Agusta Brutale 800, which has a bevy of custom pieces on it that make it look like a café racer / scrambler type of machine.