Niccolò Canepa takes a 500cc V4 two-stroke GP bike around Mugello!

Niccolò Canepa’s videos are quite popular in the Visordown office, although to him spanking Eddie Lawson’s 500cc GP two-stroke is the best yet!

Mugello Niccolo Canepa Yamaha YZR500

WORLDSBK, MotoE, and EWC racer, Niccolò Canepa has released his latest clip which sees him hitting the fabled Mugello circuit aboard Eddie Lawson’s Yamaha YZR500 0W81 500cc, V4 two-stroke!

Canepa’s videos are well down, with a distinctive POV view of him and some of the world’s best riders enjoying the best bikes and circuits on the planet. This latest video though, shot at a Yamaha Racing Heritage Club event, might just be our favourite yet.

We can’t tell if this genuinely is Canepa’s first time out on the 500cc Grand Prix machine, although the post does allude to it seeming to take him about half a lap of the 3.2-mile circuit to figure out how to keep the fickle machine within its minuscule powerband. He does though seem to figure that out, and once he’s in his groove manages to overtake a couple of other classic race bikes as if they standing still. 

The bike Canepa is riding is said to be Eddie Lawson’s Yamaha YZR500 0W81, 500cc V4 two-stroke, a bike from the era of machines given the nickname ‘The Unrideables’. The bikes could have anything up to 170bhp in race trim and a total weight of around 120kg. Add to that tyres that were a world away from the quality we have today, and brakes that had nowhere near the power of modern items, and you had a recipe for spectacular and sometimes tragic racing. This alone makes the video shared by Canepa all the more impressive.

The post accompanying the video reads:
‘Having spent his career racing four-strokes, it takes Niccolò Canepa about half a lap of Mugello aboard Eddie Lawson’s 1986 championship-winning Yamaha YZR500 0W81 to figure out how to keep the bike in the powerband, but when he does, he flies! If you love the sound of a 500cc, V4 two-stroke flat out on the pipe, then this is not to be missed!’

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