Not long ago we'd have laughed in your face at the idea of getting such a collection of blokes together on track – but it was just as much the bikes that held us spell-bound in the event.
ll the factory 500s at the inaugural 500 GP Legends event in Jerez belonged to generous private collectors, such as Brits Chris Wilson and Steve Wheatman. They’re fastidiously prepared by specialist GP mechanics and cost a small fortune to run. But some are close to 40 years old and struggle around a fast, modern day Grand Prix circuit in intense heat.
The event organisers are hoping more machines will be available for the next World GP Bike Legends and that manufacturers will step in to support it. Gardner says there are dozens of Honda NSR500s in the basement at HRC that could be released out into the wild. The Tech 3 MotoGP team are creating a classic racing programme making Yamaha YZR500 parts, and specialists are looking to create GP replicas. But even in year one, it was a mouth-watering collection.