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Motorcycle stars praise Cadwell Park International Classic

Monday, July 27 2015

Stars of motorcycle racing's past and present have heaped praise on the inaugural Cadwell Park International Classic event, which took place at the legendary Lincolnshire Wolds circuit last weekend (25/26 July).

Celebrating the venue's rich history of two-wheeled racing, it featured a full programme of historic racing, plus displays, music, classic bike collections and interviews with many of the event's special guests, headlined by multiple World Champions Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Jim Redman.

Agostini said: "[The event's] fantastic, very good. I've met a lot of people from 40 years ago and its always emotional and exciting to see all these people coming."

RedmanThe Italian's former team-mate and rival Read added: "Well, Jonathan Palmer's done a fantastic job here with these marquees, and the staff here have been really helpful and 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 Giacomo Agostini and myself managed to get together and get a few laps on the MVs, we obviously thrilled a lot of people with the sight and sound. MV Agustas are iconic bikes, they're like the Ferrari of motorcycles and luckily we've got some private owners that have purchased and maintained them, and allowed us old riders to demonstrate them."

ChattertonRedman said: "It's great, it's 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."

Local rider Derek Chatterton, who famously beat Agostini at Cadwell Park in the 1970s said: "It's been a fantastic weekend; I've met people that I haven't seen for probably 50 years. I think I ought to [remind Agostini that I beat him here], just let him know!"

John Cooper, who, like Chatterton, beat Agostini at Mallory Park, said: "It's been nice meeting old friends, Cadwell's always a nice place to come and very friendly. I first rode here in about 1959, it's super, I enjoy it no end. Riding around the track is very interesting and Cadwell has just got that thing about old-fashionedness - it's nice!"

Local hero Steve Plater interviewed many of the guests on the main stage. He said: "It's been a great event with all sorts of different things going on both on the circuit and in the paddock, and there are some great names here with a lot of good stories.

Cooper"It's great to see old friends and rivals of my own, plus a lot of the older guys that I never raced against. You always have to do a lot of homework before the meeting and it's great to find out exactly about their careers and their highs and lows."

Fellow interviewer James Haydon, himself a former Grand Prix and Superbike rider, said: "I really enjoyed it, there's some fantastic machinery. I've been walking around and literally I feel like a fan myself with some of the stuff and hearing it, and I'm lucky enough for a few people to let me take the throttle, so I've revved a few classic things. What a pleasure to interview some of the biggest names in motorcycling; Agostini, Read and Redman who have nearly 30 World Championships between them, amazing characters with amazing stories and it's been lovely to be a part of this event in its infancy, and I hope it can grow and get bigger. I'm sure it can, it's been a positive start."

British Superbike legend John Reynolds 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 grow, and I think Jonathan Palmer's got a monster on his hands here, I really do.

PlaterCurrent British Superbike star Chris Walker said: "It's amazing - as soon as I checked the calendar this year and I was available, I was straight here, and it's always been a dream of mine to ride one of the old RC45 Hondas. I know I'm a Kawasaki man through and through, but it was one of those bikes I've raced against and ridden on the road, but never had the opportunity to ride one on track. I finally got a chance to ride an ex-Michael Rutter Simpson bike today. It was absolutely superb and the turnout has been amazing and I'm really glad to be a part of it.

"My first ever visit was a day off school, my father came testing here on his T50 single Suzuki in 1977, and I bunked off. The guys that were here today have raced over the last few decades that I've had the opportunity to come and watch, so to meet up with them again today, especially John Cooper who rebuilt my BSA for me a few years ago, and to see them all still riding motorbikes is pretty special. It's always pretty cool to meet 'Ago' again, he's a legend and it's just shame we haven't got Barry Sheene with him!"

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.