The original fast rider who looked at SBK racing as the ideal way to prolong his career, Pierfrancesco Chili is one of the true legends of the class. Perennially youthful, even though he is 47-years old at present, Chili was the granddad of the class for some time, and raced right up until 2006. He finished inside the top four in both 1998 and 2000 seasons - first on a Ducati twin and then a 750cc Suzuki four-cylinder.
He took 17 wins in all, 29 fastest laps and ten pole positions - from his first involvement in 1995 to his last race, at Magny-Cours, his 276th career start. He scored a remarkable 61 podiums - sharing seventh place in the overall rankings with two others at this time. Few riders have ever come close to him for having a universal fan base. ‘Frankie' as he was known to one and all, has always been box-office, win, crash or draw.
When asked about why he has so many fans all over the world, Chili states, "I think it is because I was like a normal person. And when I won it was for all the people, not only for myself or my team. I think people like me because I gave back to people some good emotions. Sometimes I pushed a little bit too much and fell down, but that was my style - I did not make so much calculation in my races. I wanted to just win!"...more