Glorious Goodwood | MotoGP legends set for iconic Festival of Speed hill climb next weekend

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The initial motorcycling line-up has been announced for the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed, with a star studded roster of racing legends taking to the 1.16-mile hill climb course in celebration of 75 years of Grand Prix.

“Here at Goodwood, we always take the opportunity to celebrate significant anniversaries, and we’re incredibly excited to be marking 75 years of Grand Prix motorcycle racing at this year’s Festival of Speed,” event founder, The Duke of Richmond said.

Grand Prix legends

Riders already confirmed as attending include three-time 500cc world champion Kenny Roberts Snr, who will be riding a Yamaha YZR500 from his 1980 championship-winning season.

Rider tackling right hand corner at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

He’ll be joined by his son his son and fellow 500cc series winner Kenny Roberts Jnr, who will pilot a 2000 Suzuki RGV500 XR80, on which he also claimed his crown.

Alongside them will sit Casey Stoner, who will be riding a 2008 Ducati Desmosedici GP8 MotoGP bike. The 2007 and 2011 MotoGP world champion has been attending since 2006 and spoke to MCN at last year’s festival.

“I’ve missed out some years, of course, due to schedule problems, but it’s an incredible event,” Stoner said. “From the first moment I came here to see the amount of cars that I grew up watching, being able to share a room with so many of my heroes and get to share some stories.

Rider pulling a wheelie at Goodwood Festival of Speed

“It’s an event unlike any other. There’s nothing that even compares to it the entire world, so it’s a privilege to be here. It really is.”

Alongside Stoner will sit fellow Australian and five-time Grand Prix champion Mick Doohan, who will be taking to the hill aboard a 1998 Honda NSR500V – the year of his final 500cc crown.

“It’s always a spectacular place, it’s great for everyone to come here,” he told MCN in 2023. “There are a lot of people, very knowledgeable motorsport enthusiasts here from all walks of life.”

Rider on track at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Flying the flag for modern MotoGP machinery will be Honda HRC test rider and former Moto2 world champion, Stefan Bradl, who will ride a 2023 Honda RC213V.

Charity partners

Away from the racers, Goodwood have also chosen Two Wheels for Life as their official charity partner for this year’s event. The group aim to improve the quality of healthcare in some of the remotest parts of Africa by supplying motorcycles for the delivery of medical supplies, vaccines, and healthcare workers.

“This partnership not only highlights the importance of our work at one of the biggest motorsport events in the world, but also presents an incredible opportunity to engage with a passionate audience and rally support for our cause,” charity CEO, Andrea Coleman said.

Rider pulling a wheelie at Goodwood Festival of Speed

On top of Grand Prix racers, there will also be sidecar outfits including defending world champions Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clément. The pair also made their Isle of Man TT debut this year, securing a seventh place in the first sidecar race of the event using their Yamaha R6-powered outfit.

Sticking with TT racers, 14-time winner and lap record holder, Peter Hickman will be in attendance alongside 23-time winner and fan favourite John McGuinness.

Rally raiders

It’s not all about staying on tarmac though, with factory Yamaha rally rider and internet stunt sensation Pol Tarrés making his debut aboard a Ténéré 700.

Riders on track at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

“I have watched loads of videos on the internet about it, so I am excited to participate in this awesome event,” Tarrés told MCN. “I think the highlight for me will be seeing all of the legendary cars and bikes, getting to meet some of my heroes from motorsport, and, of course, experiencing first-hand the incredible atmosphere and amazing fans.

“Just being invited to participate in this legendary event is very special to me,” he continued. “Hopefully, I can make a few runs up the hill and show them what I can do on my Ténéré 700.”

BMW R20 debut

BMW R20 side image

Away from sporting machinery, a number of road bikes will also take to the hill climb course. This includes the two-litre BMW R20 boxer prototype, which made its debut Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este show in late May.