Lucio Cecchinello (born 21 October 1969 in Venice, Italy) is an Italian former professional motorcycle racer and current motorcycle racing team manager. He competed in Grand Prix motorcycle racing from 1993 to 2003. In 1996, he founded LCR Team competing in the 125cc class.
Lucio Cecchinello at the 2011 British Grand Prix
|Born||October 21, 1969|
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The roar of the engines, acceleration and speed have always attracted Lucio since he was very young. As soon as he got his license, he took his savings earned thanks to his summer jobs and, with the help of his father Luciano, he bought a brand new Honda NS125 starting his dream to become a professional racer.
The passion for racing competitions was growing stronger but school related duties and his parents opposition were not leaving any chance to “sixteen years old Lucio’s desire” who decided to work as a mechanic in the week end to breathe the racing atmosphere till the day he became a mechanic for the prestigious Team Italia involved in the European Championship.
As soon as he turned eighteen and with the approval of his exasperated dad Luciano, Lucio, in 1989, made his debut as rider in the Italian Sport Production Championship riding a Honda 125 NSR. At his third race, on Monza race track, Lucio gained his first victory followed by further victories that gave him the Italian Runner-up champion title behind Max Biaggi in the Italian Sport Production Championship of 1989.
In 1991 Lucio made his debut in the 125cc European Championship with the Team Italia finishing 10th overall. Two years later he earned his European Runner-up award in the 125 cc class and in 1993 he finally made his debut in the World Championship. The following year the team GIVI offered Lucio the opportunity to race in the MotoGP riding a Honda RS 125cc and aboard that bike he scored his first world championship points and 1995 Team Pileri gave Lucio the chance to race with a Honda 125 KIT in the European Championship. Lucio won 8 races out of the 11 included in the calendar becoming the official European Champion.
The year 1996 marked the turning point for Lucio who decided to found his own racing team (LCR Team – Lucio Cecchinello Racing) acting as racer and Team Manager in the same time and scoring several and important results in the top ten.
Aboard his Honda machinery Lucio conquered his first victory in the 125cc World Championship at Jarama race track in Spain in 1998: the same season his teammate was the talented Japanese rider Noboru Ueda. The duo gained many important results for the Team and in 2001/2002 Lucio finished the 125cc Championship in the 4th position overall aboard the Aprilia RS125. During the years the Team increased his commitment participating in the 250cc class first and afterwards in the MotoGP class and Lucio lined up many talented riders such Casey Stoner, Alex De Angelis, David Checa, Roberto Locatelli, Mattia Pasini, Randy De Puniet, Carlos Checa, Eugene Laverty and Toni Elias.
Before ending his racing career Lucio realized one of his dreams taking the victory at the 2003 Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
Since 2004 Lucio is engaged full-time in managing the LCR Team and the passion for the competitions and the speed is still very strong. He is also member of the IRTA Committee (International Road Racing Teams Association) the association that represents the technical-sport advices of the Teams in the deal with the MotoGP organizers (Dorna) and the Institutions (FIM).
Lucio began setting up his own team in 1996. The team started as one-bike team for Lucio, racing in 125cc class with Honda bike. The team soon expanded into two-bike team since 1998. In 2001, the team switched into Aprilia machinery.
The expansion continued in 2002, with the team running extra bikes in 250cc, giving future MotoGP champion Casey Stoner his first full- time ride in the 250cc championship in 2005. Lucio retired after 2003 season, but the team continues to battle for the championship with Stoner and French rider Randy de Puniet as their main rider.
In 2006, the team began competing in the MotoGP class with Honda machinery with the 250cc team also switching from Aprilia to Honda. The team employed Casey Stoner as their sole rider in MotoGP. The team successfully reached their first podium and first pole with Stoner in their debut season. However, Stoner left at the end of the season to join Ducati factory team. Veteran Spanish rider Carlos Checa was recruited to ride for them in 2007. From 2008–2010, the team's rider was Randy de Puniet, who returned to the team after having been part of their 250cc campaign from 2003–2004. In 2011 the rider for Team LCR was Toni Elias, and at the end of 2011 it was announced Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl had signed a 2-year deal with the team.
Crutchlow started the 2015 season with CWM-LCR Honda by taking seventh-place finishes in Qatar and Austin. He then achieved his first podium with the team, with a third-place result in Argentina after a last-lap pass on Andrea Iannone. In the process, Crutchlow achieved LCR's first podium since Stefan Bradl finished second at the 2013 United States Grand Prix. Crutchlow retired from each of the next three races on the calendar, in France, Italy and Catalunya, before a sixth-place finish in the Netherlands and adding a seventh-place finish in Germany. Crutchlow finished eighth in the championship.
Crutchlow won his first race at the wet 2016 Czech Republic GP. This win ended a 35-year dry spell as the last win by a British rider in the top flight was Barry Sheene at the 1981 Swedish Grand Prix. He also won the Australian GP, his first dry win. He became the first Briton ever to win the Australian Grand Prix. He ended the year with 141 points, finishing seventh in the championship.
Crutchlow crashed at out at the season opener in Qatar, but rallied at the second race in Argentina to take a podium in 3rd place. He followed this up with two top five finishes in his next three races to produce a solid start to the season. He extended his contract with LCR and Honda until 2019.
- lcr.mc Official website of Team LCR