Thousands celebrated MCN’s return to north London at the Devitt MCN Ally Pally Show and Supersprint over the weekend (September 22-23). And what a return it was, with a host of stars in attendance, a wide variety of race bikes taking part in an indoor sprint and thousands of happy punters watching on.
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As well as the sprint bikes, the event also hosted several races for the celebrity guests (and MCN’s Senior Reporter Jordan Gibbons) on Honda CRF100s. Carl Fogarty, James Whitham, John McGuinness, Dougie Lampkin and Chris Walker competed in slalom, sprint and wheelie events for the crowd. MCN caught up with John McGuinness before the races to see how seriously the racers were taking it.
"It got quite heated in the practice session, it was getting quite serious. It’s not so bad doing a wheelie, but getting down at the right speed is tricky.
"Fogarty is still competitive. He’s off his head. We will all get competitive, of course we will. It’s a bit of fun but we all want to win."
James Whitham was clearly having fun on the course, too. "You forget how much fun mucking around on bikes is," he said. Carl Fogarty added, "What could be better than doing wheelies and skids on motorbikes."
Bike builder Allen Millyard took his 250cc motocross engined Honda SS50 down the Supersprint track too. "Anyone who thinks a 50-yard race isn’t exciting can go back to bed as far as I’m concerned.” Millyard’s SS50 was the envy of the celebrities and almost certainly the fastest bike on the course. “Riding down that straight with the adrenaline going, the sound reverberating back at you and that view. Where else in the world can you get that?"
MCN Publisher, Rob Aherne wanted to bring something special to the world of motorbike events.
"On the back of the London Motorcycle Show and our MCN Festival we wanted to put on a different kind of biking event in the capital: one with noisy live action that you couldn’t see anywhere else at its heart.
"We also wanted to find a way of bringing MCN back to Ally Pally, because it’s such a lovely venue and we’ve run some great events here in the past. And when we came up with the idea of running bikes down the middle of the Great Hall, the whole thing just fell into place."
If you couldn’t make it to this show, why not grab an early bird ticket to the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show at ExCel in February?