.... Armando speak
Here we are my dear friends, at the end of my long speedway racing career, like
a train who stop after a long working life.
During twenty years of an intense sports activity I have stored up an endless
series of races, wins, defeats, moments of joy and suffering, experiences and
friends which I will never forget. I have come to the end of a long sports militancy
which has really given me much satisfaction. I am perfectly aware that from now
on I will have to start a new life as a “normal” person. I will devote
my self much more to my family. I wiII be more present as a father and cuddle
my host precious treasures Daniela, Michele and the little Francesca.
I will think about a new job, which I hope will still be connected with the sports
Day” is the right chance to see the old friends and have
a big party and see riders from all over the world, with very
much happiness in our hearts. I hope I will not see sad people,
must be a day of happiness. The “Castagna Day” is
the right occasion to say thank you to the people who has been
very close to me for all these years starting with my father
and mother, my brothers, my wife Daniela, my friends Pierino,
Luigino, Sossi, Stefano, Doug, Adriano, Trevor, Pam, Anton, Yeti,
Ute, Franco, Beppo, Eugen, Vito, Jorge, Luis, John, Bocia, Chris,
Pat. A special thank to Stefano who is the mind behind this beautiful
racing day. My dear friends I want to say thank you to everyone
for helping for all these years on to make my dream became real.
Let’s not forget the riders who are here most of the time.
Thank you very much and I hope I can help you in somehow in the
future. To riders who are very close to me, I can only say tank
you for being my friends. A special mention to Wiggy, who I know
is up there looking. Thank you for letting me be your friend,
I will never forget you.
When all of this will be over, I wish to sit around a table with the people I
love and to tell them about my experiences. It will not be easy, of course. It's
a long story. Before starting with Speedway, I took part in Motocross and Vespa
races. Later I entered this discipline, running my first official race in 1982.
I have run some wonderful races and some awful ones. I have had some light accidents
and some more serious ones. I have travelled around the world, I have had a chance
to visit beautiful, unexpected places. I have met people who proved to be true
friends with the passing of time.
The “Castagna Day” must be full of joy and passion for everybody.
It also gives me the opportunity to say thanks to all those people who have helped
and supported me, first of all my family, my friends and fans. Without them I
would never have become what I am today.
Last but not least I wish to thank my sponsors and honour them: I would have
been nothing without them. They have really supported my activity both from a
financial and from a moral point of view. What really makes me happy is that
at the beginning they were nothing more than companies and our relationship was
simply a technical one. But with the passing of time it developed into a true
and strong friendship.
From a personal point of view, I have learnt that Speedway is not a simple sport.
It's a school of life. I mean is not a school which gives you a final certificate
and a permanent job with a regular monthly pay. I rather mean a chance to learn
about the world, to live among different people and to speak a little bit several
foreign languages. Thanks to Speedway I could attend the so called “street
university”, I mean I could get in touch with different cultures, ways
of living, races, places. All of this makes me proud. But there is also something
I do regret, first of all spending so much time far away from my family, Daniela
and my friends. Yet what I most regret is that I could not be with my father
when he died, owing to a tour through Argentina.
In speedway the bigger regret is certainly that I have never been World Champion.
I won everything was possible in Italy, I won a lot of International meetings
and Leagues and I have been one of the best riders in the world for many years.
But, and it is a big but, I have never been World Champion.
But I will open my heart to you, my dear friends: I would have been ready to
give up some Italian prizes for one world title. Running Speedway I have been
very lucky because I have found true friends: since we first met they have always
given me a warm welcome. That is what I want to thank everybody for. Your friendship
has been my luck. I have spoken about the positive aspects of a twenty-year-old
career. I hope people will remember me as a rider who brought a positive contribution
to this sport. And I wish the new generations looked at me as a good example.
I do not mean I want to teach anything to anybody, for goodness’ sake!
But when I was young, I did look for some models and values in the champions
of the past. I would like young people to see in me now what I saw in them then.
I hope I will simply remain in your hearts as Armando Castagna a guy who looks
a little bit like Mussolini as I was told, that man who help anybody if asked.
I would like people to remember me as a good rider who has been fair and honest.
This is why I can fell proud of my self.
I have told you the story of twenty wonderful years of my life. I hope I have
not been boring.
With these words, I want to tell you that I officially dropped out of competition
but I take part with pleasure in International races as Memorial Geatti, Golden
Gala and Super Motard's events … it's really hard to get off the motorbike!!!
A very big hug to all of you, thank you for everything.
Big kiss, God bless all of you.