Fans flood to see 500cc GP stars race again
Former 500cc GP world champs Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer lined-up on the grid for the second annual World GP Bike Legends at the Sachsenring, Germany at the weekend.
Racing in front of a 30,400-strong crowd, they were joined by fellow 500cc GP legends Phil Read, Jeremy McWilliams, Garry McCoy, Frankie Chili, Jurgen Van Den Goorbergh, Didier De Radigues, Ralf Waldman and Jim Redman.
The two 10 lap races were part of the ADAC Sachsenring Classic festival and fans were also treated to the sight, sound and smell of the legends' 500cc two-stroke factory bikes, including a brace of Cagiva 500s, RGV500s and two V4 Ronax 500s - modern GP two-strokes, complete with milled billet aluminium engine cases and Honda NSR500-inspired chassis and bodywork.
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Waldman won Saturday's race and was followed home by Spencer and McWilliams. Sunday's race saw McWilliams take victory, with McCoy in second and Spencer third.
Legends ambassador Gardner was doubly pleased with how the weekend unfolded: "It's been a great success for us and all the fans, but I'm also very happy because my son Remy won his first Spanish Moto2 race today. I'm over the moon.”
Spencer said: "Every lap on a 500 is incredible. I got to ride an RGV500 for the first time and it's great.
McWilliams added: "To ride a two-stroke again at this track is special for me, as I got a podium here on the 250 in 1998. The fans here are unbelievable."
McCoy proved he's lost none of his wild, tyre-smoking skills and smiled: "To feel that horsepower between my legs is amazing. Within a lap I felt at home and just had a ball. But I could barely breath when all the bikes started in the paddock with all the blue smoke."
I also got to be chance to race the legends on an 1989 ex-Mamola Cagiva 589. You can read all about what it's like to race a 500 against the best riders in the world in MCN soon, including an interview with Spencer, Gardner and McWilliams on why two-strokes are still the best race bikes in the world.
The next World GP Bike Legends in at Silverstone on 29-31 July.
Images: Thomas Kretschel & Steffen Hähnel