My departure from the JJ team
Text: Domingo Gil
Jacinto Moriana, the boss of the JJ team, had the great virtue of treating all his riders with excessive generosity, with great humanity and with great respect. He made us feel very comfortable in his team thanks to his passion, his strength and his affection. To understand my departure from the JJ team in its entire context, I will start at the beginning. As I said before, my joining the JJ team was a consequence of the victory in the I Criterium Solo Moto AGV in 1978.
The project that Jacinto created, bringing together JJ and RECMO to enable the development of SIROKO by Antonio Cobas, seemed very exciting and, above all, very expectant. There was a team and there was will: there was a future!! Seen from the perspective of time, it can be deduced that precisely at that time a new era in motorcycling was opening in our country. This set of circumstances, especially for a Junior like me, led me to dream of achieving something big.
But..., without any kind of resentment, what I never imagined, after winning the Criterium the way I did, was how difficult it would be for a “small town boy” with no means, to make his way in that world... The three years I was on that team were really intense. Too many things happened to be easily forgotten. In this space and time we coexist Jacinto Moriana, Antonio Cobas, Paco Asensi, SIROKO...Angel Carmona, Gines Guirado, Javier Ortiz, Luis Alberó, Carlos Cardús, José Maria Mallol, Pedro Xammar... and many other characters who collaborated and who they were related to that great team.
Endless work and many sleepless nights to arrive just in time for a race, in some cases, for practice. Initially the SIROKO suffered from the typical failures of youth and together with the engine, a YAMAHA TZ, it showed that it was not a sufficiently competitive option to fight against the official DERBI in terms of engine and with the standard YAMAHA TZ in terms of reliability. After the 1979/1980 seasons in which we achieved different results, the big change was in 1981 with the arrival of ROTAX engines. SIROKO's reliability improved and that ROTAX engine proved to be a “cannon”, as was later demonstrated when it dominated the 250cc World Championship with APRILIA.
1983, Superprestigio SOLO MOTO, 250cc race
In 1981, although my ROTAX engine arrived a little later than expected compared to my companion's... it could have been a great season, but it wasn't, basically interrupted by a useless mandatory military service that took me away from competition... My situation at JJ at the end of 1981 did not seem to have evolved much, the contract with Perfumes Parera (BRANDO) with JJ, the main sponsor at the time, was terminated. I was the only pilot on the JJ payroll and the figure of Carlos Cardús and his entourage became increasingly powerful. JJ, at his discretion, needed to reduce costs and concentrate efforts on a single pilot.
It was difficult for Jacinto Moriana to make this decision... and he didn't have time to tell me. Fortunately, the LeMans team with Gabriel Martinez and the Murcia family at the helm gave me a great opportunity to join their team. And Jacinto Moriana breathed... The anecdote of this trilogy of my departure from JJ comes from the fact that in my first year in LeMans and in the last CEV race in Esplugues de Llobregat, I achieved runner-up in Spain, with Carlos Cardús champion before that appointment.
And at the finish line of this race, Jacinto Moriana was the first to meet me to give me a big hug. Jacinto was happy to have a champion driver and also a former runner-up...!! Jacinto... I will never forget that moment!