Guided by our Rep., Pier Giuseppe Ortalda, the TTSC continues to flourish in Italy - a recent visit to the Mondial factory prompted Pier to write ….
"The Mondial story started in 1936 when, under the name of FB [Fratelli Boselli], the Boselli brothers, Carlo, Luigi, Ettore and Giuseppe began producing motorcycles in their Bologna plant. The youngest, Giuseppe, thought that the business would benefit from involvement in road racing - twelve years later, in 1948, his dream came true with the first bike, a Dohc 125cc, designed by technician, Alfonso Drusiani, bearing the name Mondial, being seen on the start line. The FB Mondial became the official brand from 1948 with an industrial production of light motorcycles equipped with two and four stroke engines.
Driven by Francesco Lama, the FB Mondial, made its debut in the Gran Premio delle Nazioni held in Faenza; Lama did not finish, but he did break the lap record. Success soon followed - in '49, '50 and '51 Nello Pagani, Bruno Ruffo and Carlo Ubbiali took the 125cc World Championship; Mondial were the Manufacturers' Champions on all three occasions.
Mondial secured the top four positions at the 1951 TT, with Cromie McCandless taking the chequered flag followed by Ubbiali, Gino Leoni and Pagani. Sadly, the Mondial management forgot to enter the team for the Manufacturers' Award! A double success followed on the Clypse Course in 1957 with Tarquinio Provini and Cecil Sandford being victorious in the Ultra-lightweight and Lightweight classes respectively.
At the end of the 1957 season, Mondial, together with Gilera and Moto Guzzi, withdrew from Grand Prix racing after winning ten titles - eight with 125cc and two with 250cc machines - along with many Italian championships. Mondial continued to produce road bikes until the mid 1960s, when after a drop in sales, they closed down all activities.
After an unsuccessful relaunch in the '80s, the enthusiasm shone through in 2002 with, after a lot of investment, the introduction of the sophisticated Mondial Moto SpA. The first model, the Piega 1000, was built with a tubular steel frame, carbon fibre body parts, suspension and brakes and a Honda SP1 engine. The Japanese company offered the Italians the engine as a reciprocation for the favour the Bosellis paid Honda in the '50s in selling them a Dohc 125cc masterpiece so that Honda engineers could copy the best of the Italian firm's ideas. Much to the delight of Mondial fans, company President, Roberto Ziletti, rode one of the Piega 1000s in the 2002 TT Lap of Honour.
Last October, members of the Italian branch of the TTSC visited the new Mondial plant at Arcore in the outskirts of Milan, a town where the Gilera factory was also located. Guests of honour were riders Giuseppe Baracchetti, Giorgio Cantalupo, William Cavazzini, sidecar driver and builder Franco Martinel, together with French TTSC Rep., Jean Michel Prudon. On behalf of all Italian TTSC members who visited the factory I would like to thank Roberto Ziletti for his kindness and wish the Mondial company all the best for racing and commercial success in the future. One day we hope to see a Mondial machine in the TT, perhaps even being ridden by an Italian competitor - it would be a dream come true!!"
Pier Giuseppe Ortalda