Following a hugely successful first event at Jerez last year, World GP Bike Legends is back for 2016 and the iconic bikes and riders from the golden age of Grand Prix motorcycle racing will do battle at the challenging Sachsenring – home to the German round of the current MotoGP World Championship.
As already confirmed, 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner (Australia) will again be leading the charge with fellow rider ambassador Freddie Spencer (USA), 500cc World Champion in both 1983 and 1985 as well as 250cc World Champion in 1985. They will be joined by Phil Read (Great Britain), another multiple World Champion as well as an eight-time TT winner. Now a host of ex-GP star riders from mainland Europe will also be rolling back the years.
Latest additions are a trio of German local heroes: multiple GP winners Ralf Waldmann and Martin Wimmer (photo above), along with late ‘80s 500 GP regular Manfred Fischer. They’ll be joined by multiple 500cc-class pole-sitter Jurgen van den Goorbergh (Holland) and multiple German 500cc Champion Niggi Schmassman (Switzerland).
The fearsome 500cc two-stroke machines from 1976-2002 they will be riding will be sharing the spotlight, and the bikes already scheduled to race include:
1976 Suzuki RG500 Mk 1 – ex Phil Read
1981 Kawasaki KR500 – ex Kork Ballington & Greg Hansford
1987 Cagiva V587 500 – ex Didier de Radigues
1989 Cagiva V589 500 – ex Randy Mamola
1996 Harris Yamaha YZR500 – ex Sean Emmett
1998 Suzuki RGV500 XR88 – ex Nobuatsu Aoki
1999 Suzuki RGV500 XR89 – ex Kenny Roberts Jnr
2002 Proton KRv3 500 – ex Jeremy McWilliams
There is, of course, a full weekend of top class action in store, and this year’s Sachsenring Classic will feature more than 650 racers starting in over 18 classes with a fabulous mix of classic bikes and cars.
With qualifying and two fast and furious World GP Bike Legends races in prospect, plus great opportunities to meet the riders of the period at autograph sessions throughout the weekend, there’ll certainly be plenty for the anticipated 25,000 fans to take in.
Australia’s first premier class World Champion Wayne Gardner said “Sachsenring is a really fantastic circuit, and coupled with these wild and crazy bikes there’s sure to be some great close racing. As well as securing all these great bikes, we are also delighted to be announcing that superstars from Germany and elsewhere in continental Europe will be joining us. Their presence will certainly add even more to what’s already a truly spectacular show.”
For fans unable to make it to the Sachsenring, a number of ex GP stars and their superfast machines will be returning to one of the fastest tracks for display race at the annual three-day Silverstone Classic (29-31 July).