By 21st June 2015NEWS

Over the past three days, classic racing fans have enjoyed thrilling racing from the biggest collection of former racing heroes ever assembled who between them have over 300 grand prix wins.

Wayne Gardner, Freddie Spencer and Kevin Schwantz each took to the top step of the podium in three headlining 500cc races at World GP Bike Legends at Jerez Circuit, Spain. The encounters, which also saw the likes of Christian Sarron, Didier de Radiguès José Cardoso, Phil Read and Steve Parrish battling it out for position, were the tip of the entertainment iceberg, as legends also raced in 125c and 250cc classes, plus there was supporting action from the International Classic Grand Prix series.

With Gardner winning the first race on Saturday, it was the turn of ‘Fast Freddie’ to take glory in the second battle aboard a Yamaha YZR 500 ahead of Schwantz and Radiguès. In the final contest, Schwantz grabbed the early lead but was caught and passed by Spencer. Undeterred, the pair swapped positions several times before Schwantz eventually made the move stick to the delight of the Spanish fans at the circuit.

In the supporting 250cc/350cc, Manuel ‘Champi’ Herreros and Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez both scored popular podium finishes, while the supporting ICGP races were both won by Ian Simpson.

Away from the track action, World GP Bike Legends has been full of fun, with trial shows taking place throughout the weekend, two spectacular stunt riding shows, plus displays of classic racing bikes and contemporary machines. Friday and Saturday nights were filled with live music from some amazing acts, with renowned tribute bands The ZZ Tops and QueenMania on Friday and James Toseland and Bonnie Tyler closing proceedings on Saturday with two brilliant performances.

With the success of this inaugural event, discussions are already underway to begin planning for the next chapter of World GP Bike Legends history.

Freddie Spencer said: “This event is all about what we’ve been experiencing outside with the public. It’s the passion and the emotion that gets generated – I’ve been around motorcycles my whole life, and it has given me so many things – and the look on people’s faces is what it’s all about. I saw a couple of young guys in the paddock and they said ‘thank you so much for doing this and allowing us to see you live’, and that’s what it’s all about. For us it’s also brilliant to be back on the 500s, I’ve been riding a bike I was actually racing against back in the ‘80s! It’s the beginning of this connection between us guys up here, the collectors who have given us the opportunity to ride, and the fans who have come along to see us. I’m truly looking forward to where this is going in the future.”

Wayne Gardner said: “My perspective of the event has been overwhelmingly successful. I saw the look in people’s eyes and heard all the cheering when I won yesterday which was so cool. It brought back a lot of memories and it’s my third GP victory at Jerez! To ride with all your friends is such a pleasure. Today I was riding around the outside of Christian and I had total confidence and it was a great feeling. These motorcycles are still so thrilling, and of course we’ve got it all filmed on TV and hopefully the documentary will help us grow further. There’s already negotiations for events in other countries so the future is very bright. I think this event will springboard the interest in it and will make it easier for us to fill the grids in the future. I applaud Nick Wigley and the team at Goose for coming up with such a great concept.”

José Cardoso said: “For me it has been a great weekend. I’m so happy to be here and to be with such heroes of grand prix racing – it’s a great pleasure. I’m a local rider and it feels so good – the people who come love to be near to us and the bikes, a lot of them have never had that opportunity and that’s the most important thing about the weekend.

Steve Parrish said: “It’s great to be back with the old motorcycles and remember how they were in the old days. Unfortunately I’d like to apologize to Steve Wheatman because I managed to break one of his today – it’s been very kind of him to lend them to me and I was able to go out on a different bike which was really enjoyable as I managed to finish the races today! To be out there with colleagues from the past, the fumes and the camaraderie that goes on as well as to go right into the middle of all the fans and see so many enthusiastic people is really great.”

Christian Sarron said: “I want to say that it is always heart touching to see the fans – I’ve seen so many people riding their bikes all the way from France, from England, Holland, all sorts of places, and they said to me that ‘we did it because we wanted to see you.’ This is something incredible, we are all so pleased and so honoured that they came. We’ll keep improving the show for the future to see as many fans and people as possible.”

Didier de Radiguès said: “We can see and feel that many many people love this and enjoy it. It’s great to give them something back, but I also must admit I had a lot of fun on the track! It was very nice to race again with the guys.”

Event director Nick Wigley said: “I’m so proud of the whole team for bringing World GP Bike Legends to life. I need to thank a lot of people for making it possible, but especially Wayne Gardner for being an incredible ambassador for what we are creating here and getting so many legends together to race this weekend. The passion from the fans at Jerez Circuit is like nothing I’ve ever seen, and the potential for this to become something on a global scale is really, really exciting. We hope everyone has seen just how special this can be, and are already in discussions to take the event to more venues all around the world.”

The Race Of Legends 500cc – Race 1

  1. Wayne GARDNER – Cagiva V589
  2. Didier de RADIGUES – Suzuki XR88 RGV 500
  3. Kevin SCHWANTZ – Suzuki XR84 RGV 500
  4. Christian SARRON – Yamaha YZR 500
  5. Niggi SCHMASSMANN – Yamaha YZR 500
  6. Freddie SPENCER – Yamaha OW48R
  7. Gary LINGHAM – Suzuki RGB500 MK7
  8. Graeme CROSBY – Suzuki XR34
  9. Steve PARRISH – Suzuki XR34
  10. Michael NEEVES – Yamaha YZR 500
  11. Phil READ – Suzuki Mk1RG
  12. Jose Luis CARDOSO – Kawasaki KR500

The Race Of Legends 500cc – Race 2

  1. Freddie SPENCER – Yamaha YZR500 OW48R
  2. Kevin SCHWANTZ – Suzuki RGV500 XR84
  3. Didier DE RADIGUES – Suzuki RGV500 XR88
  4. Christian SARRON – Yamaha YZR500
  5. Niggi SCHMASSMANN – Yamaha YZR500
  6. Wayne GARDNER – Cagiva V589
  7. Jose Luis CARDOSO – Kawasaki KR500
  8. Steve PARRISH – Suzuki RGV500 XR34
  9. Phil READ – Suzuki RG500
  10. Graeme CROSBY – Suzuki RGV500 XR34

The Race Of Legends 500cc – Race 3

  1. Kevin SCHWANTZ – Suzuki RGV500 XR84
  2. Freddie SPENCER – Yamaha YZR500
  3. Niggi SCHMASSMANN – Yamaha YZR500
  4. Jose Luis CARDOSO – Kawasaki KR500
  5. Didier DE RADIGUES – Suzuki RGV500
  6. Graeme CROSBY – Suzuki RGV500
  7. Steve PARRISH – Suzuki RGV500
  8. Phil READ – Suzuki Mk1RG
  9. Wayne GARDNER – Cagiva V589