Too many legends of the motorcycle racing cosmos have passed away too early. John Britten, Marco Simoncelli, you name it. But there are a few people old enough and still alive to tell you the most amazing stories. One of these dazzling characters – although completely down to earth – is Pino Todero.

The son of Moto Guzzi mastermind Umberto Todero saved the remains of Guzzi´s insanely awesome “Otto Cilindri” Grand Prix racer. This alone makes him a hero. However, he has only been involved in the Guzzi factory as a production engineer for a very short time, later making money in the U.S. chainsaw industry. Still though, he is a full-blooded engineer like his father – talented, intrigued and slightly mad. Tinkering with classic race bikes and working on engineering archives has always been his life. “It´s all about knowledge, you know”, he says.

I met Pino a couple of times on race tracks, in his cosy home in Mandello del Lario and hang on his lips for hours. Because he is never shy of telling cool stories and showing his passion – which includes starting the screaming 500cc V8 race bike in the middle of Mandello´s residential area. Just for fun.

So you can tell, he´s a good guy. Pino celebrates his 70th birthday this year. Moto Guzzi owes him more than ever, and I am happy having met this casual, enthusiastic and authentic person. Happy birthday, Mr. Guzzi!