If Carlsberg did race meetings... They still wouldn’t be a patch on the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Where in the world can you rub shoulders with the greats of bike racing and see, hear and touch some of the most iconic motorcycles ever built? It can only be the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
MCN joined over 200,000 sun-kissed petrol heads at this very British motorsport garden party over the weekend, to witness to the planet’s greatest celebration of racing, past and present.
Triumph also gave a glimpse of the future with their Daytona 765, complete with the engine which will be used in Moto2 from 2019. It was ridden up the hill by Carl Fogarty and Gary Johnson.
MCN had the privilege of starting the Triumph Daytona 765 Moto2 bike at our Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show 2018
In one of the biggest turnouts of stars in Goodwood’s 25 year history, riders included Foggy, Agostini, Haga, Van Der Mark, Alex Lowes, Johnny Rea, Hutchy, Hillier, Corser, Mamola, Spencer, Parrish, Brookes, the Mackenzie boys…the list goes on.
Fans are able to get up close and personal with their heroes in the paddock, as well as seeing them fly up Goodwood’s famous 1.16-mile hillclimb. We also got to ride some very special machines, including Dan Linfoot’s BSB Blade, Brad Baker’s Indian Scout FTR750 flattracker, John Hackett’s Ducati 888 Corse, Bruce Anstey’s RC213V-S TT bike and a BMW HP4 Race.
The Festival of Speed - the stats
- First FOS: 1993, held over two days
- 498,000 tickets and wristbands issued
- 2015: A Pope-like reception greets Rossi when he flies in from his Assen win
- Enough temporary power to light Chichester
- Dougie Lampkin rides through, up and over Goodwood House in 2018
- One-million litres of water drunk over the weekend
- Over 300 exhibitors
- Over 5000 straw bales
Bikes are becoming an ever-expanding part of the festival, as Goodwood’s James Charman explains. He said: "The Duke (of Richmond) is a huge bike fan and rides around the estate on a dirt bike to check on everything. Cars might be the main attraction, but for a lot of people the highlights are bikes, like Rossi riding through the house in 2015, the Dunlops' visit last year and Barry Sheene winning his last ever race at the circuit.
“There was only ever one bike race at Goodwood, but they’ve earned their slot. They’re as much a part of it now, which is why we’ve got a new road bike section, to expand the interest in motorcycling.”
This weekend was the 12th visit to the festival for MCN reader Mike Phillips. “If you’re a petrol head this is the event of the year” he remarks. “Every year they seem to find something different. It’s always a pleasure to come here and nice to be with other like-minded people. When Rossi came it was fantastic. The crowd was massive and the following for him was spectacular. It was great to see him ride up the hill.”
It’s not just the fans who look forward to their annual Goodwood pilgrimage - twice WSB champ Troy Corser is also a regular and says: “I really look forward to seeing all the riders, drivers and old bikes. Hearing them go up the hill is fantastic. Every year it gets better which is hard to believe, as last year was awesome."
500cc GP legend Randy Mamola adds: “Goodwood is like dabbing your foot in heaven and just like everyone else I’m in awe of the stars and the wonderful people that drove and rode the cars and bikes in those eras. Being involved makes me feel young again.”
Three-time WSB champion Johnny Rea is riding a Kawasaki KR500 GP bike and comments: “It’s my fourth time here. I’ve always ridden standard bikes before, so to be riding this exotic bike is something completely different and really nice. It’s one of those events where you can get close to the fans and nice for us to enjoy ourselves without the pressure of competition."
We catch TT star James Hillier, mesmerised by the action. “You can get so close to so many different motor vehicles” he smiles. “I’m not a massive car fan, but I always find it intriguing to see the other side of motorsport - the engineering, smells and sounds. The highlight was meeting Rossi a few years ago - that was a big box ticked. I look forward to it every year, especially coming from road racing - it’s nice to come and ride a bike in a safe, enjoyable environment, without risking your balls.”
Still recovering from injury, 16-time Isle of Man winner Hutchy is riding his 2018 TT Blade and says: “The last two times I’ve done it I’ve had my frame on, so it’s better this year. The whole festival is amazing and it’s great to hang out with all the current and ex-riders who aren’t under any stress or pressure, like a race weekend.”
Find your next two-wheeled companion at MCN Bikes for Sale.