Left : Phil Read won the last 500cc World Championship for MV in 1974 . Right : Echo of the glory days . The author on the reborn MV in 1999
Very few models came to New Zealand , and race bikes were strictly for factory contracted riders . The price of the big bore road-going MVs in the 1970s was twice that of 750 machines produced by
other manufacturers . It seemed obvious that the Count was happy to have the aviation branch of the business supporting the company , while he concentrated on employing the world ’ s leading riders to fuel his passion for racing . No other motorcycle manufacturer was so dominated by one man . It was the Count who decided which models were to be built , and also their technical and aesthetic characteristics . He also ran the racing programme , and chose the riders . Some critics are inclined to say that MV Agusta ’ s supremacy is a matter of luck . They didn ’ t start to win until the fourcylinder Gileras were withdrawn from Grand Prix racing in 1957 , and when the factory backed Yamaha and Suzuki twostrokes came out to play in the mid-70s , it was all over . This is only partially true , and luck in any case has always been an essential part of racing .
Mike Hailwood at the 1965 Czech Grand Prix on the 500cc MV