Goodwood Revival plays host to best-ever motorcycling line-up

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Over 100,000 people flocked to Goodwood Motor Circuit this past weekend to witness some of motorcycling’s greatest riders do battle in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy races.

Part of the annual Goodwood Revival Meeting, which celebrates heritage motorsport on two and four wheels, this year’s star-studded rider line-up has been widely regarded as the greatest ever, seeing 31-time MotoGP race winner, Dani Pedrosa, line up alongside the likes of Peter Hickman and Troy Corser on a collection of ‘50s and ‘60s machines.

“I’m really happy to have come and the experience is unbelievable,” Pedrosa told MCN. “The racing is so much fun and riders are joking during racing and also after the racing, too.”

Having never ridden a classic bike before the Revival, the Spanish former 125cc and double 250cc world champion was able to manage an aggregated ninth place finish overall aboard his 1963 Manx Norton 30M, alongside fellow rider Joaquín Folch-Rusinol Jnr.

“There’s such a good atmosphere and zero stress,” he added. “It’s all about having fun and with this super weather we’ve had all weekend, it’s been perfect.”

Competing across the weekend on a mouth-watering selection of booming of Manx Nortons, Matchless G50s, BSAs, and more, the eventual overall winners were Jon-Boy Lee and 2019 Supersport TT winner, Lee Johnston, claiming victory in both races aboard their howling 1966 MV Agusta 500/3.

Another rider experiencing classic racing for the first time was 2019 British Superstock 1000 champion, Richard Cooper, who qualified pole on Friday on his first visit to the circuit alongside teammate Steve Parrish.

“This is my first time at the Revival. I’ve done the Festival of Speed two or three times and, in all honesty, this is probably 15 years in the making,” Cooper said. 

“I just hope that I’ve made a good [enough] impression to get invited back in years to come because I’m getting to an age where this racing actually suits me!

“The line-up this year is unbelievable. Last night we were at the ball dancing with Dani Pedrosa like we’d known each other for years. I think everyone who’s been part of the line-up has made this event for the bikes and hopefully it has raised its profile.”

This was echoed by Peter Hickman, who also said: “This is my first revival and it’s been awesome, I’ve really, really enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden anything as old as the bike I’m riding this weekend; a Manx Norton 30M from 1962. It’s been brilliant, I’ve really enjoyed it, and the team have done a fantastic job.”

Finishing second overall, he added: “It’s been a really enjoyable weekend and something I have wanted to do for a long time, but it normally clashes with BSB or something. This year I finally managed to make it and I’m really glad I did.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, with the current Isle of Man TT lap record holder admitting: “Through the corners you need to pick up the throttle quite early and keep the chain taught. It’s something you learn through trial and error. I made a few mistakes early on and just kind of figured it out as I went.”

James Hillier negotiates the chicane

Goodwood Revival in numbers

  • Number of people on site: 50,000 per day (sold out)
  • Number of actors: 280
  • Number of costumes: 10,000
  • Number of artefacts dressing the public areas: 12,000
  • Number of photos: 1800 per booth per day 
  • Number of Austin J40 pedal cars: 74
  • Number of TT winners: 14 (with 84 race wins between them)
  • Number of cars and motorcycles racing: 435

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Riders walk to the collection area