In #ThrowBackThursday fashion, here is an interview with the legendary and iconic Eraldo Ferracci that was originally published in May of 2015.
Words: Allan Lane
Images: Michael Spain Smith
Mention his name in any professional racing paddock and wait for the smile to spread across the face of the person to whom you are talking. This is in an industry where your longevity is based upon your ability to persevere not only the ups and downs of the business but of life in general. But it’s not just about persevering, although that is a large part of the equation. The other part resides in your ability to thrive. Eraldo Ferracci at his core is the perfect storm of those two very defining elements… Perseverance and the ability to succeed. A master tuner, engine builder and one hell of a cook, Eraldo’s passion for excellence for himself and those in his company is the strands of a legend. He can be a fiery, explosive, whirlwind of focused energy. But he’s also a humanitarian, husband and father that understands the importance of family.
He was 12 years old when he began attending what would be considered vocational school. He would spend half of his days in a classroom and the rest of the day in a motorcycle shop. He capitalized on the opportunity but he also became aware that he was needed just as much as he desired an education. Then, the students could stay later and engage in a kind of mentorship with the factory engineers, assisting them in their projects. It was like an unofficial internship as the factories needed the help and found them in willing and able minded students.
Eraldo was one of those students that understood the importance of hands-on training. He feels that today things are different for those attending technical schools. While there is much hands-on learning, a great percentage of the curriculum is based on textbooks. Perhaps that’s the difference between a mechanic, an engineer and a master tuner. It wasn’t just the knowledge that he acquired in his youth. It was how he received it.
“One time we developed and we designed the engine. The engineers would come into the shop and sketch right on the floor with the white chalk,” he recalls. From there, they would pull different parts from other engines and motorcycles and part together the bike on the shop floor. No computers. No digital studios. It was different then. It was truly hands on. “It was the opportunity to learn. A big opportunity. I was a little bit fortunate to learn so much and so quick.”