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Italy’s Marco Belli and His Exclusive Zaeta Impressive Once Again at 2013 Pikes Peak

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As with everywhere he goes, there was much interest in Belli's motorcycle.
As with everywhere he goes, there was much interest in Belli's Zaeta motorcycle.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest auto race in the United States, weighing in at 12.42 miles through 156 turns from the start gate at 9,390 feet, to the summit finish at 14,110 feet. Each year would-be conquerors converge from around the world in hopes of etching their names on the infamous mountains history. Italy's Marco Belli has been here five times and on three of those occasions he landed on the podium. Impressive indeed, yet what marks Belli's efforts as extraordinary is that he isn't a part of a big-money, brand-name endeavor, he in fact competes on a motorcycle of his own creation.
Marco Belli and his handmade Zaeta have made it to the podium 3 of the 5 times he's competed at Pikes Peak.
Marco Belli and his handmade Zaeta have made it to the podium 3 of the 5 times he's competed at Pikes Peak.


Depending on the season, Marco Belli is either a well-known Italian Flat Track specialist, or another highly motivated vanquisher of the Peak. And, the enormously dedicated K&N sponsored racer gets it done on a 530cc four-stroke Zaeta, which he exclusively designs and engineers himself in Italy. His races essentially are one continuous high-speed test lab. The personalized feedback that Belli collects on the peak or track, he immediately applies to the ongoing evolution of the Zaeta. This year, for the 91st running of Pikes Peak, Belli and his two-wheeled creation were challenged as they hadn't been in the past. Belli and his diminutive Zaeta had to compete against the big dogs in the Heavyweight Supermoto class.
Despite having to run with the big dogs this year, Belli still managed to finish 5th in his class and 43rd overall.
Despite having to run with the big dogs this year, Belli still managed to finish 5th in his class and 43rd overall.


"Racing at Pikes Peak is always a big emotion," says Belli. "This was my fifth time on the mountain with already 3 podium finishes in the past, so I'm always a bit optimistic about the result, even if the competitors are really tough and the race itself is always more for street bikes. During the entire week of practice we found a good set up for the bike, running with new 17 inch wheels and slick tire, which I'm not use to, but they did give a good grip and good corner speed. So by the end of practice we would gain the 5th place on the starting line, hoping to gain a little bit more during race day."
The K&N sponsored racers vows to make some adjustments to his Zaeta before returning to Pikes Peak next year.
The K&N sponsored racers vows to make some adjustments to his Zaeta motorcycle before returning to Pikes Peak next year.


On race day Sunday morning Belli and his crew woke up at 3:30 am, which gave them enough time to prepare and make the drive up to the pit area by 5:00. Keeping in mind at all times that the weather is always a key contender here at high altitude, where the conditions can change dramatically from sun to ice every five minutes.

"On the mountain before us were the 1200cc superbikes and then the Heavyweight Supermoto bikes, which are a bit more competitive then my bike. But that's the new rule and we have to make adjustments for that next year," remarks the forward thinking Belli. So fill the gas tank, put your head down, and go."

"By the end I had a good run, cutting my previous record, so I can be satisfied, even if a 5th pace is not what I really expected as a racer. As a guy from Italy, riding his own handmade bike, it's a big result, but we want to write our name in the story of this race, so the new challenge is already on. In 2014 we are coming back to Pikes Peak, see you there!"

Related K&N News Articles about Marco Belli and Pikes Peak: Marco Belli Wins Opening Round of the Newly Formed Italian Flat Track Championship; K&N Backed Marco Belli's 750 Zaeta Earns Third Place at 2011 Pikes Peak Hill Climb; Italy's Marco Belli on Leading the Italian Championship and Riding with Fast Freddie; Rhys Millen Racing Returns to Pikes Peak Hill Climb to Defend Hyundai Record
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