The first-ever World GP Bike Legends festival gets underway today at Jerez, with three days of entertainment both on and off the track awaiting fans travelling to the circuit.
Motorcycle racing legends will be competing against each other on machinery used between 1980 and 2000, with the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc categories all being represented.
Riders taking part in the event include Freddie Spencer, Phil Read, Freddie Spencer, Wayne Gardner, Kevin Schwantz, Loris Capirossi and Steve Parrish.
Ahead of the event, Spencer said: “It’s amazing to see this event coming together – I cant wait to get on my bike and go racing. The circuit looks great, the weather is going to be perfect, the bikes and legends are ready, so let’s put on a special show for the fans!”
Today will see the legends on the Spanish circuit for the first time, as they compete in free practice sessions ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session. Saturday also sees the start of the racing action, with the first 125cc Challenge, 500cc Legends and Classic 250/350cc events all scheduled to take place.
Sunday will then include a further 11 races including the Legends 125cc, Legends 250/350cc and both of the International Grand Prix Classic events.
Read, who was the first rider to win the 125cc,250cc and 500cc world championships, is full of excitement ahead of the new festival.
He said: “The racing is going be really close and exciting! It’s a breath of fresh air to see a classic event this well organised, and I think what we have here is the start of something really special. Thanks is in order to everyone who’s made this possible, and I hope it develops into a truly international series and fulfils the incredible potential here.”
The excitement shown by the riders taking part in the event is shared by Chris Wilson, a bike collector who will be supplying some of the machinery being used by the legends this weekend.
He said: “The opportunity to come to an event like this and be part of the beginning of what I hope is going to be something very special was too good to miss. It is obviously a staggeringly good location, it is just a fantastic circuit – Jerez, Andalucía is beautiful but also packed with history. Everyone has been fantastic and I really look forward to this weekend.”
Off the track there will be plenty of entertainment to keep the fans busy, including a trial biking show led by former Trial World Championship riders Marcel Justribó and Jordi Pascuet.
They will be joined by Narcis Roca, BMW Motorrad Espana’s own Streetbike Freestyle rider, who brings his own stunt show to the circuit.
Music will also be present throughout the weekend, with tribute acts Queenmania and The ZZ Tops taking to the stage on this evening.
Former World Superbike Champion James Toseland and 80s musician Bonnie Tyler will then entertain the crowd on Saturday evening.
Event Director, Nick Wigley, said: “We’ve got the weather, we’ve got the circuit, we’ve got the legends and we’ve got the festival! I’m really proud of the whole team for bringing World GP Bike Legends to life – it’s going to be a weekend to remember for everyone making the trip to Jerez Circuit.