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From 10 to 12 July there’ll be shows, exhibitions, music and, of course, the roar of engines at Schiranna and in Varese city centre, all in memory of Claudio Castiglioni.

The countdown to Friends of Claudio 2015 – the awesome MV Augusta motorcycling get-together dedicated to the memory of legendary owner-founder Claudio Castiglione – has begun! Talent, intuition and charisma made Claudio Castiglioni a legend in the motorcycling world, much-loved by generations of enthusiasts who grew up with the illustrious names of Aermacchi, Cagiva, Husqvarna, Ducati, Morini and MV Agusta, real fans who will undoubtedly note that this year’s event falls on the same day as that historic Hungarian GP of 1992, Cagiva’s first success in the GP 500 championship.

It was, in fact, on 12 July that Californian rider Eddie Lawson rode an Italian bike to victory sixteen years after MV Agusta’s last win, achieved by Giacomo Agostini in the German GP. To remember that breathtaking win and the many others achieved by the legendary made in Schiranna bikes, this year sees a packed programme of events thanks to close collaboration between Varese city council, the Città dei Motori association and the long-standing “block” made up of the Cascina Costa International Motoclub, the Registro Storico Aermacchi and the Italian Cagiva Club.

The party kicks off on Friday 10 July with a kaleidoscope of concerts and artistic performances; fans can also enjoy the “Schiranna-built bikes: legends and memories” photo exhibition in corso Matteotti, the heart of Varese’s city centre.

On Saturday riders will get their motors running at 10 a.m. and set out from the MV Agusta piazzale area in Schiranna to ride to Cascina Costa and its museum. Afterwards it’s back to Varese city centre to enjoy the aperitifs that herald the start of the Velocità e Lentezza (Speed and Slowness) road show, an exhibition organised by Città dei Motori, Polizia di Stato and Rai Isoradio that combines the region’s engineering excellence with its fabulous food and wine.

Lunch offers participants a chance to bite into “the motorcyclist’s sandwich”, a theme taken up by all the main Varese shops, which have already decked out their stores with MV Agusta and Cagiva bikes, components and memorabilia. At 3 p.m. the riders will head off again – escorted by the sleek Turismo Veloce bikes of the Polizia Locale – on a tour taking in Valganna, Luino and Laveno before arriving back at Varese by 6 p.m.

The evening continues at Schiranna, where the Reparto Corse team hospitality facility will be set up in the MV Agusta square (piazzale). From 8 p.m. visitors can share supper with WSS riders Cluzel and Zanetti and other celebrities from the MV Agusta world. Rounding off the day will be a great jam session with Paul Bernadoli and Roberto Parodi’s ‘Peter’s Room’ group. Places are limited, so booking is compulsory:

Sunday open-day at MV Agusta starting at 9.30. Visitors can look forward to meeting the riders of yesteryear and today, seeing roaring, blue-blooded bikes and an exhibition of the best-ever Mercedes-AMG race cars; they can even get a tattoo or have themselves photographed with their own bikes on a special photo stand inside the factory. Like last year, “Friends of Claudio” also offers plenty of fun for the kids with the creative workshops and games organised by Ponte del Sorriso. The proceeds from the lottery will go to the maternity-children’s hospital; first prize will be a one-off edition of the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce.