SBK, Frankie Chili: “I have Parkinson’s, but I’m a rider and I’ll fight”

Our popular “Frankie” confessed to being a victim of the degenerative disease, but he hasn’t given up: “The human body is like a motorcycle, if it doesn’t work, something vibrates,” he said jokingly.


Pierfrancesco Chili was one of the most successful and popular riders in the Superbike, even if he never a world championship. Unforgettable were his stripteasing antics after races, when he used throw his  clothes to his fans.

Nicknamed the "tuna" because of his speed on wet asphalt,  or "blue-eyed tiger" because of his helmet design, at only 56 years of age, the superbike legend was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

After the 2006 season, the popular Italian rider his forced retirement an accident after a test during which he fractured his pelvis.

Since then, "Frankie" has been  busy with his family beaches facilities, Bagni Romina - named after his wife - and rents vacation apartments.

Recently, in an interview with, Chili revealed that he has Parkinson's disease.

“When my hands started shaking, I went to the doctor who diagnosed Parkinson's. That was a hard blow. But I'm a racer and riders fall but get back up."

Chili  raced most of his 276 Superbike races with Ducati, but he also competed with Suzuki and Honda.

"The human body is not different from a motorcycle. If a motorcycle has bad vibrations, you take it to a garage. If a person trembles, he goes to the doctor," Chili said jokingly.

Even after the  diagnosis, the former champion got back on a motorcycle in March 2019.

"I went to Australia to do ride with Troy Bayliss," Chili recalled. "It was fun, but it won't ever do it again. It was too dangerous. I was vibrating more than the bike."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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