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Old 06-22-2015, 01:20 PM   #1
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GP legends back on 500cc twostrokes

Former world champions Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Gardner among GP stars to race again

TWO-stroke 500cc GP bikes raced again piloted by former world champions at Jerez Circuit in Spain at the weekend.

Former world champions Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Gardner and Phil Read were among the stars to race original classic GP machines at the World GP Bike Legends event.

Gardner, Freddie Spencer and Schwantz each took to the top step of the podium in three 500cc races on classic GP bikes.

Other GP legends battling it out included Christian Sarron, Didier de Radiguès, José Cardoso, Phil Read and Steve Parrish. There were also 125cc and 250cc races, with supporting action from the International Classic Grand Prix series.

Wayne Gardner, the 1987 500cc world champion, took the first win of the weekend aboard his Cagiva V589. He just beat Didier de Radiguès on the Suzuki XR8 RGV500 and Schwantz on the 1994 XR84 machine he rode as world champion.

‘Fast Freddie’ took the second race win aboard a Yamaha YZR 500 ahead of Schwantz and Radiguès.

In the final contest, Schwantz grabbed the early lead but was caught and passed by Spencer. The pair swapped positions several times before Schwantz eventually made the move stick to the delight of fans.

In the supporting 250cc/350cc class, Manuel ‘Champi’ Herreros and Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez both scored podium finishes, while the supporting ICGP races were both won by Ian Simpson.

The event also included autograph sessions, stunt shows and live music.

Freddie Spencer said: ‘The look on people’s faces is what it’s all about. I saw a couple of young guys in the paddock and they said ‘thank you so much for doing this and allowing us to see you live’, and that’s what it’s all about. For us it’s also brilliant to be back on the 500s. I've been riding a bike I was actually racing against back in the ‘80s! It’s the beginning of this connection between us guys up here, the collectors who have given us the opportunity to ride, and the fans who have come along to see us. I’m truly looking forward to where this is going in the future.’

Gardner said: ‘I saw the look in people’s eyes and heard all the cheering when I won yesterday which was so cool. It brought back a lot of memories and it’s my third GP victory at Jerez! To ride with all your friends is such a pleasure. Today I was riding around the outside of Christian and I had total confidence and it was a great feeling. These motorcycles are still so thrilling, and of course we’ve got it all filmed on TV and hopefully the documentary will help us grow further. There’s already negotiations for events in other countries so the future is very bright.’

Schwantz said after race one: 'It was fun. I got a really good start and I saw Freddie’s bike choked a little bit coming off the line so I felt like I had a good opportunity to push right away, got into the first turn and then everybody was right on me. It turned out to be a fun race – I'm not sure we were riding at world championship level, we were at a level we were all comfortable with and could have fun passing each other. I didn’t win which normally changes my attitude quite a bit, but you can’t win them all!'

The Race Of Legends 500cc – Race 1

1. Wayne GARDNER – Cagiva V589

2. Didier de RADIGUES – Suzuki XR88 RGV 500

3. Kevin SCHWANTZ – Suzuki XR84 RGV 500

4. Christian SARRON – Yamaha YZR 500

5. Niggi SCHMASSMANN – Yamaha YZR 500

6. Freddie SPENCER – Yamaha OW48R

7. Gary LINGHAM – Suzuki RGB500 MK7

8. Graeme CROSBY – Suzuki XR34

9. Steve PARRISH – Suzuki XR34

10. Michael NEEVES – Yamaha YZR 500

11. Phil READ – Suzuki Mk1RG

12. Jose Luis CARDOSO – Kawasaki KR500

The Race Of Legends 500cc – Race 2

1. Freddie SPENCER – Yamaha YZR500 OW48R

2. Kevin SCHWANTZ – Suzuki RGV500 XR84

3. Didier DE RADIGUES – Suzuki RGV500 XR88

4. Christian SARRON – Yamaha YZR500

5. Niggi SCHMASSMANN – Yamaha YZR500

6. Wayne GARDNER – Cagiva V589

7. Jose Luis CARDOSO – Kawasaki KR500

8. Steve PARRISH – Suzuki RGV500 XR34

9. Phil READ – Suzuki RG500

10. Graeme CROSBY – Suzuki RGV500 XR34

The Race Of Legends 500cc – Race 3

1. Kevin SCHWANTZ - Suzuki RGV500 XR84

2. Freddie SPENCER - Yamaha YZR500

3. Niggi SCHMASSMANN - Yamaha YZR500

4. Jose Luis CARDOSO - Kawasaki KR500

5. Didier DE RADIGUES - Suzuki RGV500

6. Graeme CROSBY - Suzuki RGV500

7. Steve PARRISH - Suzuki RGV500

8. Phil READ - Suzuki Mk1RG

9. Wayne GARDNER - Cagiva V589

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