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Bike racing history celebrated at first International Classic

Sunday, July 26 2015

Cadwell Park celebrated a halcyon era today (Sunday) at the inaugural International Classic, featuring all aspects of the Lincolnshire Wolds' motorcycle racing pedigree, with star guests, historic bike racing, and special themed attractions.

A star-studded guest list featured two-wheeled racing royalty, including 15-time Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion Giacomo Agostini, who led a series of special heritage parades. In addition to taking to the track on an MV Agusta, the marque with which he recorded almost all of his title successes, the Italian ace met the fans, signed autographs, shared his memories during interview sessions, and presented trophies for some of the races. 

CPICSun2Agostini commented: "It's fantastic. I very much like the circuit and also the place with the trees and greenery. It's not a normal flat circuit - this is very difficult because you go up, you go down, there are tight corners and fast corners, it's very good!

"[The event's] fantastic, very good, we're lucky! I've met a lot of people from 40 years ago - it's always emotional and exciting to see all these people coming, it's nice."

The Italian shared the track and the main stage with fellow World Champions Jim Redman MBE and former team-mate Phil Read MBE, with whom he engaged in plenty of friendly banter.

CPICSun3Read said: "It's been a wonderful event. There are some incredible bikes here, and some incredible riders, the cream of the classics and the current. I think when Agostini and myself managed to get together and get a few laps on the MVs, it thrilled a lot of people with the sight and sound. I've met so many people here that have been watching me since the '60s and '70s."

Redman said: "It's great, I really I like the place because it's just a homely track, filled with fans who love their racing and that makes me feel very welcome. It's always good to see all the old boys and have a yarn with them. I always say the older I get, the faster I was!"

CPICSun4The special 'Ago's Parade' also featured local legends such as Mick Grant and Derek Chatterton and more, and celebrated the circuit's history of hosting motorcycle races at the highest level. The list also included John Cronshaw on a replica of the infamous Honda '6' that took Mike Hailwood to championship glory - a unique machine which truly has to be heard to be believed!

Other illustrious guests included 11-time British Trials Champion Sammy Miller, now the owner of a historic bike museum, who brought some of his most prized possessions along to the event. His primary discipline of off-road trials riding was also represented by the Steve Colley Trials show and Poachers Pre 65 Classic Trials Club in the special demonstration area.

Cadwell Park remains one of the most popular stops on the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship calendar - the series returns to the Lincolnshire circuit in mid-August - and many of the category's star names were present to indulge in the retro atmosphere. These included series front-runners-turned-pundits Jamie Whitham and James Haydon, plus former champion John Reynolds, and crowd-pleasing veteran Chris Walker.

CPICSun1Reynolds said: "It's been fantastic, I'm lucky enough to be riding the old bike I won the championship on - the Suzuki back in 2004. I think this is going to grow and grow, and I think Jonathan Palmer's got a monster on his hands here, I really do."

Many of the guest riders appeared on the main stage, which was hosted by Steve Plater and James Haydon, and Plater also provided the commentary for bus tours around the circuit along with Roger Marshall and Reynolds.

The event also featured a packed programme of historic bike racing representing from various eras, with historic Grand Prix bikes in the International Classic Grand Prix Series, in which George Hogton-Rusling completed a double and the International Historic Racing Organisation, won by Luke Notton. There were also races for the International Classic Superbike Series, won by Richard Steadman and Pete Boast, Camathias Cup for Sidecars, and Lansdowne Trophy for Pre-1963 Group 1 and 2 motorcycles, in which veteran Mike 'Spike' Edwards completed a clean sweep. Following last year's 80th Anniversary Meeting, two special races were revived; the Tommy Wood Trophy, in which Pete Boast scored a victory, and the Classic King of Cadwell, won by Gary Thwaites.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship returns to Cadwell Park on 21-23 August and tickets are available in advance from £26. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.