Following the hugely successful first event at Jerez in 2015, World GP Bike Legends is back for 2016 and the iconic 500cc bikes and riders from the golden age of Grand Prix motorcycle racing will do battle at the challenging Sachsenring Circuit – home to the German round of the current MotoGP World Championship.
The sixteen riders entered for the World GP Bike Legends races are:
Wayne Gardner (AUS)
500cc World Champion in 1987, runner up in 1986 & 1988. Eighteen 500cc GP wins with 51 podiums, 19 pole positions and 19 fastest laps.
Freddie Spencer (USA) – Pictured above
500cc World Champion in 1983 and 500cc/250cc double World Champion in 1985. Twenty-seven GP wins, 39 podiums, 33 pole positions and 24 fastest laps.
Jim Redman (UK)
250cc and 350cc double World Champion in 1962 & 1963. 350cc World Champion in 1964 & 1965. Forty-five GP wins, 98 podiums and 35 fastest laps.
Phil Read (UK)
500cc World Champion in 1973 & 1974 with 10 500cc GP wins from 1973-1975. 250cc World Champion in 1964, 1965, 1968 & 1971. 125cc World Champion in 1968. Fifty-two GP wins.
Pierfrancesco Chili (ITA)
Competed in 61 500cc GPs from 1986-1995 with one win and two further podiums. Four 250cc GP wins, plus 17 wins and 61 podiums in the World Superbike Championships from 1995-2006.
Garry McCoy (AUS)
Competed in 47 500cc GPs and 33 MotoGPs from 1998-2006. Three 500cc GP wins, ten podiums, two 125cc GP wins.
Didier de Radigues (BEL)
Competed in 82 500cc GPs between 1983-1991 with two podium finishes. Four wins in 250cc & 350cc GPs with 12 pole positions.
Ralf Waldmann (GER)
Competed in 12 500cc GPs in 1998. Runner-up in 250cc World Championship in 1996 & 1997 with 18 GP wins.
Jeremy McWilliams (IRE)
Competed in 118 500cc/MotoGPs from 1993-2005 with two pole positions. One 250cc GP win.
Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NLD)
Competed in 94 500cc/MotoGPs from 1997-2005 with two pole positions. Top 500cc GP privateer in 2000.
Niggi Schmassmann (SUI)
Competed in 57 500cc GPs from 1988-1996. Four-time German 500cc Champion.
Martin Wimmer (GER)
Competed in 133 250/350cc GPs from 1980-1991. Three 250cc GP wins, 16 podiums and eight pole positions.
Manfred Fischer (GER)
Competed in 32 500cc GPs from 1984-1988.
Eskil Suter (SUI)
Competed in eight 500cc GPs in 1998 and 74 250cc GPs from 1991-1996.
Jörg Schöllhorn (GER)
Classic 500cc two-stroke racer and test rider.
Michael Neeves (UK)
Senior Road Tester, racer since 1989, competed in 2015 World GP Bike Legends.
And they’ll be riding these awesome 500cc two-stroke machines:
1976 Suzuki RG500 Mk. 1 – ex Phil Read
1980 Suzuki RG500 Mk. 5 – built by ex factory mechanic Nigel Everett
1981 Kawasaki KR500 – ex Kork Ballington & Greg Hansford
1986 Suzuki RG500 Mk. 10 – ex Geir Hestman
1987 Cagiva V587 – ex Didier de Radigues
1989 Cagiva V589 – ex Randy Mamola
1990 Cagiva V590 – ex Ron Haslam
1991 Cagiva V591 – ex Eddie Lawson
1992 Cagiva V592 – ex Eddie Lawson
1995 Harris Yamaha YZR500 – ex James Haydon
1996 Harris Yamaha YZR500 – ex Sean Emmett & Niggi Schmassman
1998 Suzuki RGV500 XR88 – ex Nobuatsu Aoki
1999 Suzuki RGV500 XR89 – ex Kenny Roberts Jnr
2002 Proton KRv3 500 – ex Jeremy McWilliams
2015 Ronax 500 V4
2016 Suter MXX 500 – ex Ian Lougher (2016 Isle of Man TT)
Rider/ambassador Wayne Gardner said, “I’m really thrilled that we have such a fantastic grid of amazing riders and beautiful original GP bikes for this year’s event. There’s sure to be some really close and exciting racing, and I’ll be honored to be out there mixing it with so many former rivals and idols, especially the older legends like Jim and Phil”.
A full weekend of top class action is in store with this year’s Sachsenring Classic featuring 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.
For those unable to make it to the Sachsenring Classic, a number of ex-GP stars and their brutal machines will be returning to one of the fastest tracks for some spectacular, high-speed laps at the annual three-day Silverstone Classic (29-31 July).
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