MOTORCYCLING: Cadwell Classic is hailed a success

Giacomo Agostini getting some air on his MV Augusta as he tackles The Mountain at Cadwell Park. Photo: Tim Keeton/Impact Images Mandatory Copyright Notice: Tim
Giacomo Agostini getting some air on his MV Augusta as he tackles The Mountain at Cadwell Park. Photo: Tim Keeton/Impact Images Mandatory Copyright Notice: Tim

Stars of motorcycle racing’s past and present have heaped praise on the inaugural Cadwell Park International Classic.

The nostalgic event celebrated all aspects of the circuit’s two-wheeled racing pedigree, with special guests, historic bike racing, and special themed attractions.

The star-studded guest list featured two-wheeled racing royalty, including 15-time Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion Giacomo Agostini, who led a series of special heritage parades.

In addition to taking to the track on an MV Agusta, the marque with which he recorded almost all of his title successes, the Italian ace met fans, signed autographs, shared his memories during interview sessions, and presented trophies for some of the races.

Agostini commented: “It’s fantastic. I very much like the circuit and also the place with the trees and greenery. [The event’s] fantastic, very good. I’ve met a lot of people from 40 years ago – it’s always emotional and exciting to see all these people coming, it’s nice.”

The Italian shared the track and the main stage with fellow World Champions Jim Redman MBE and former team-mate Phil Read MBE, with whom he engaged in plenty of friendly banter.

The special Ago’s Parade also featured local legends such as Mick Grant and Derek Chatterton, and celebrated the circuit’s history of hosting motorcycle races at the highest level. The list also included John Cronshaw on a replica of the infamous Honda 6 that took Mike Hailwood to championship glory – a unique machine which truly has to be heard to be believed.

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!”

Other illustrious guests included 11-time British Trials Champion Sammy Miller, now the owner of a historic bike museum, who brought some of his most prized possessions along to the event. His primary discipline of off-road trials riding was also represented by the Steve Colley Trials show and the Wolds-based Poachers Pre 65 Classic Trials Club in the special demonstration area.

Cadwell Park remains one of the most popular stops on the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship calendar – the series returns to the Lincolnshire circuit this weekend – and many of the category’s star names were present to indulge in the retro atmosphere.

These included series front-runners-turned-pundits Jamie Whitham and James Haydon, plus former champion John Reynolds, and crowd-pleasing veteran Chris Walker.

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. It was absolutely superb and the turnout has been amazing and I’m really glad to be a part of it. 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.”