Angel Nieto has been gone for five years
The champion lost his life in an accident with the quad in Ibiza. Angel represented Spain as and perhaps even more than Ago here with us. In our world the figure of him is still missing and a film about his life is awaited
August 4, 2022
THEOn 3 August 2017, the Spanish champion died in the Ibiza clinic where he had been hospitalized for a week: fatal for him had been a rear-end collision suffered on the island while traveling with the quad. The world of motorcycling lost one of its most beautiful icons in an instant: thirteen world titles, or rather twelve plus one as he liked to say.
In recent years his name has returned to the news for two events, linked to his family. In January 2021, his son Gelete, in an interview with ABC diaryhad announced the project of a film about his father's career, lead actor Juan Josè Ballesta. And a few months earlier it had been the Spanish newspaper El Periodico to write that the provincial court of Palma de Mallorca, at the insistence of the Nieto, had rThe 2017 accident liability case is open. No more simple guilt: the driver of the investing car was under investigation for street murder. But nothing more has been heard of both.
TOngel was the symbol of Spain in motorcycling just as Ago represented and still represents our country. We miss it today. And on the occasion of the anniversary of his death we publish the memory that Nico Cereghini wrote five years ago:
Old rock, once again he seemed to have made it and instead comes the bad news from Ibiza: Angel Nieto is dead. For Spain it is a huge loss, he was a charismatic character and a great protagonist of the last century, from the dark years of Francisco Franco to the great economic and social revival of the country. And for the whole motorcycling it is a legend that goes away. Thirteen world titles in small displacements: of course, because Spain in the 1960s built only small displacement bikes.
Angel was hungry and classy. His life is a novel. He left his family and crossed Spain from north to south to enter Derbi who was only sixteen, he wanted to work in motorcycles because his passion was his; he was awake and soon managed to get himself inserted among the mechanics of the racing team. And when by chance they made him try a 50, he immediately set great times and he became the official pilot. THEl youngest in history to win the world title of the minimum displacement.
As a pilot he was very skilled, determined, sometimes also ruthless. Very clever: he knew how to win impossible races by deceiving the opponent and sometimes ended up in punches. All the Spanish riders were inspired by him. Giacomo Agostini was his friend, and it was simple because they were never direct rivals, and then it was easy to get along with Angel because he was cheerful, affectionate, communicative, always ready to joke and party. But he was anything but naive, he was skilled in business and able to cultivate friendships.
For many years I have provided him with cigarettes: he had officially quit smoking, I hadn't yet and we were both commentators. Between one race and another, outside the commentary booths, exchanging impressions on what had just happened, he would ask me if by chance I had an extra cigarette. He gave you that sly look of his, it was hard to say no to Angel Nieto. And I would have given him the whole package too: he was the nicest legend in the world.