|Jan Thiel and Minarelli:
"In 1980 I was working in Bologna, for Minarelli. Working on the Minarelli 125 racebikes was my daytime job but I worked many evenings on the 50, as a hobby. I also designed a frame for it. There were separate racing departments for the 50 and 125, the 50 being more like a personal hobby for Mr Minarelli. Each department had its own dyno. In 1980 there were engines with 17mm carburettors for hill climbing and the juniores class but from 1981 the carburettors were free. With the small carburettors the engines needed a very long inlet timing but with the bigger 28 mm carburettors the inlet timing could be shortened considerably, giving a big improvement at low revs! I only worked on the cilinders and inlet timing and also did the dyno work, the rest of the work was done by Ascareggi's mechanic, Franco Ravagli."
|"This bike won the 1981 50cc European championship with Giuseppe Ascareggi. For 1982 a whole new 50cc engine was planned with a rotary valve on both sides, but sadly Mr. Minarelli died and nothing came of it. Eugenio Lazzarini came to me in 1980, asking if I was interested in working for Garelli to make a new 50cc. I had a contract with Minarelli for 2 years, so I could not go away and anyway I was not much interested as I was working for Angel Nieto who was a good friend of mine, and still is."
|"After the demise of Mr. Minarelli, Minarelli sold their racing department, at the end of 1981, to Garelli and I was asked to join Garelli which I did. The deal could also include the 50cc Minarelli engine if I wanted, the choice was up to me. But the Minarelli engine had the rotary valve on the side of the primary drive so you had to take off the clutch and primary cover when experimenting with valve timing, which I did'nt like so much.
For the rest it was a good engine, giving 21 HP."
Jan Thiel 2011.