CHRONICLE OF THE GOOD RASCALS - When, even, the final classifications were the target of creativity
The departure of a fair race, indefensible date and place...
In the last century and, to a lesser extent, even today, the so-called fair or non-championship events were often raced, most of which were events entered in the federation calendar! Improvised urban circuits, often partially or totally, in cobblestone and which were mostly disputed in the North zone. Often, they were fought during the festivals of the village in question! They had a lot of public, a lot of pilots and an epic lack of organizational and security means! Even so, they contributed decisively to the popularity of motorcycling and to the training of some riders who shone at national level! I started racing in 1981 and, at that time, it was normally disputed in the 50cc Racing Seniors and 50cc Racing Juniors classes!
Francisco Casquilho and the Valpaços GP
In the episode that I tell you today, Francisco Casquilho was the protagonist! Unfortunately I haven't heard from him for over 30 years! Francisco Casquilho was an outstanding rider in national, Portugal, road racing in the late 70's and early 80's, I well remember seeing him try, with his YAMAHA TZ 350, to counter the hegemony of Toni Contente Fernandes, in the 350cc Racing class ! Around 1986-90, Xico was President of the Speed Commission of the already dying FPM (Portuguese Motorcycling Federation). In that capacity, in one of the years of his senate, he went to the Valpaços race, a race with great tradition, then and still now. The level of organization was rudimentary, timing did not exist in these races, curiously, the starting grid was usually established by the classification of a "sprint" race, usually 5 laps, which was given the pompous name of official practice! The starting order for this sprint race was either random or in order of arrival for the grid formation!! Vitor Calado was, at the time, the president of the FPM and will have instructed Xico in the sense that he could, in case there is no better solution, have to be responsible for the lap by lap to establish the final classification, he also told him that this shouldn't be a problem because there wouldn't be many participants! As a parenthesis, it should be said that Xico's professional activity was that of a private detective and that in the exercise of his duties he usually used a pocket cassette recorder, similar to the one that was also widely used by journalists at that time! Arriving in Valpaços, Xico found, to his surprise, that there were races with more than 30 participants, this in a small perimeter circuit, a very difficult job if there was a team for this purpose and truly impossible to control by a single person and that, on top of that, he had never done this task before!! The race started and Xico tried to do the lap by lap, he quickly got lost and concentrated, only on the small group in front!! When the race was over, it was up to him to publish the final ranking and he was completely lost!!
As it was not to be confused, he remembered an expedient solution, he went to the riders one by one, with the recorder on and with the following speech: "Number 4, man? It went well! Congratulations! did you stay?...", Each one answered according to the instructions they had from their own team, like: "The bike was failing, but it was still possible to be in 8th...", at that time, Xico turned to the tape recorder and said, "Number 4, 8"! Using this stratagem, he managed to establish a final classification that, as far as is known, did not deserve great protests!!!... Other times...
The formation in which Casquilho ran in the late 70's or early 80's
Francisco Casquilho, save the mistake in 1982 (or 1...), in action: in Vila Real he commanded and... after the crash, in Estoril (nr 4) he made a trapeze behind Toni Contente Fernandes and on a podium (left) with Toni and Paulo Araújo