Huge crowds made the pilgrimage to Mallory Park over the weekend for the annual 1000 Bikes festival. Once again the VMCC had organised a mouth-watering line up of legendary racers and their iconic bikes. The event is growing every year and on arriving in our hotel we were told that there were no rooms left any where in the town, showing how popular the event has become.
The paddock was alive with the sounds of classic race machines dating from before World War 1 all the way through to the screaming two stroke 500s and 750s of the 1970s and 80s and the more recent four stroke superbikes.
Fans had the chance to meet their idols and chat with the stars as the open paddock bustled with activity.
Sunday saw all the stars take to the track. Headlining the festival this year was Kenny Roberts the 3 times world 500cc champion. “King” Kenny riding the 500cc Yamaha OW60 put in some amazing laps to have the crowd on their feet and cheering. Appearing for the first time on a UK Track since 1983 it was clear the Kenny had lost none of his speed. The yellow, black and white Yamaha America colours reminded fans of when King Kenny ruled the Grand Prix stage. There was a special moment as Kenny was followed for a number of laps by Freddie Sheen riding his fathers Suzuki XR27. This brought the images of the famous Sheene – Roberts battles flooding back for everyone watching.
The list of other riders on track read like a whos-who of bike racing legends including, 15 times World Champion Giacomo Agostini, 9 times World Champion Phil Read, TT Winners Graeme Crosby, Nick Jefferies and Mick Grant. Plus Redman, Ballington, Parrish, Cathcart, Simpson, Rymer, Nation and many more including BSB stars Michael Rutter and Scott Smart. It was awe-inspiring to see these stars covering so many generations on the track together.
Without doubt the 1000 Bikes Festival is a must for all motorcycle racing fans. The whole weekend was amazing and without doubt all Rogue Mag readers should get to the 2012 event!!