The fifth edition of Ride For Life, at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, ended with a great participation from the public and and also from the over 80 riders who came together to compete and put on a show with one goal: raise money to help pilots seriously injured and to support research for the treatment of spinal cord injuries.
The spectacular Lady Polita Kart Trophy opened a Sunday of racing with 40 riders at the start from all categories of speed and off road: Alessia Polita was a trailblazer for the challenges to the preliminary rounds played on two timed laps. A difficult struggle that was in the end dominated by a very fast Marco Melandri, who obtained the time 45,952, beating by just 27 thousandths Matteo Baiocco. With them on the podium, the cross rider Ivo Monticelli, followed by the other finalists Riccardo Russo, Andrea Dovizioso and Simone Saltarelli.
Melandri was one of the most active riders of the weekend, taking part in all the scheduled races: the 60 Km Ride For Life cycling, held on the Saturday morning consisting of 12 laps of the track, the karts and pit bike, passing by the trophy named after our dear friend Andrea Antonelli, original challenge cycling in pairs carried out on the kart circuit curves, won by the pair formed by the cross rider Samuele Bernardini and by the cyclist Samuel Scotini.
Sunday afternoon instead was animated by the excitement of the Pit Bike race: 36 riders battled off-road until the end, from which the four finalists have emerged: Massimo Bianconcini, Marco Melandri, Andrea Dovizioso and Michele Cervellin. The final was enlighted by the amazing battle between Marco Melandri and Andrea Dovizioso, with the champion from Ravenna who beated the Forlì one only in the last corners. With them on the podium also the cross specialist Michele Cervellin. Worth of note is the excellent performance of Loris Capirossi, standing a step away from the semifinals.
Alessia Polita said: “It was great to take part in this event: to the many riders intervened, thank you very much. They gave great show, but above all they are continuing to make me feel part of a big family, despite not attending the paddocks for the races anymore. I also thank the Riders4Riders Association and all those who, with their commitment and their will, allow to organize these events: it is thanks to them that my dream to go back up on my feet a day will come true.”
Marco Melandri said: “Many pilots have partecipated with great enthusiasm in these two days and this can only make me happy: It is always nice to give a hand to those in need, plus we had great fun! In all competitions there has always been a big brawl, pity about the fall in the Trophy Antonelli, otherwise today with victories in karting and in Pit Bike I could have made a clean sweep! In the final of the Pit Bike I knew I had something more than Dovizioso in some parts of the track: I’m also happy because I managed to make a nice clean fast without contact as often happens with Pit Bike! We hope that it sent a nice message and we also hope to attract even more public in the future.”
Andrea Dovizioso said: “I am present since the first edition of Ride For Life and also this year has been very nice to go to help those most in need. At the end of the season, once free from the commitments, it is a pleasure being among us drivers, for a laugh and to fight with no mercy, the important thing is that there is the brawl! Here in Imola we were able to challenge with bikes, karts and the Pit Bike and was very funny. I saw a lot of people early on Saturday evening at the dinner together with all the drivers and this is undoubtedly positive. We work hard to put on a show and attract more and more public, for an important goal!”
Loris Capirossi said: “It is always very nice to contribute to a good cause! I really enjoyed fighting with the other riders, although with Pit Bike I had to come to terms with very strong opponents! There were so many cross specialists, and for us sprinters used to the asphalt was not easy, but I still enjoyed it a lot!”
The public partecipated at the weekend and was able to meet up close with all the champions who participated in the races and also to attend the shows of the group Daboot freestyle and Quad Evolution performances by Roberto Poggiali and Matteo Lardori.
After a fantastic edition of Ride For Life in the beautiful scenery of the Autodromo of Imola, the association Riders4Riders Onlus activities in support of injured riders and research for the treatment of spinal cord injuries still do not stop: from December 6 on eBay take off the online auction with items donated by drivers and supporters of the association. Among them, the complete race clothing autographed by Tony Cairoli, the jerseys of Clement Desalle and Romain Febvre, a wing bulkhead of Formula 1 Toro Rosso and the undergarment of the drivers, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.
In the auction there will also be the boots of Alex De Angelis, who is recovering well from the accident which occurred at Motegi and wanted to be present to give them personally during the great event organized on Saturday evening: the dinner with the riders, animated by the show Flatland BMX with Luca Contoli and Zelig comedians, was attended by over 450 guests. A great evening of party, made possible thanks to the valuable contribution of the Scappi Hotelier Institute of Castel San Pietro Terme, who helped in the kitchen and served at the tables.
In conclusion of the event were finally extracted the 10 winning lottery tickets, where you could win a 140cc Pit Bike PBS Hyper, a mountain bike, a TV and exclusive paddock passes for Italians appointments of MotoGP, World Superbike and MXGP. Winning tickets will be posted on the site and on the association’s official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/riders4ridersonlus.
Special thanks to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the municipality of Imola, the Italian Motorcycle Association and the Mobile Clinic.