The twelfth edition of the Bikers' Classics at Spa-Francorchamps was another great success.
Although weather conditions somewhat influenced one of Europe's biggest Classics Race events, the spectators enjoyed a wonderful GP500 Parade, a unique line-up in the Sidecar class and even some sunshine.
“And that sunshine symbolises how we look back on the event and I think the same goes for many of our visitors”, says Bikers' Classics coordinator Olivier Aerts. “We celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Suzuki RG500 in style, the tent in which the sidecars were displayed was packed all the time and the 4 Hours of Spa Classic had a nailbiting finish. We look back on a succesful twelfth edition.”
Some showers on Saturday couldn't dampen the mood in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock. The autojumble attracted many visitors, as did the interviews with former riders in the paddock. “The fact that people come to the Bikers' Classics despite the weather, shows that they come to enjoy the whole package”, says Aerts. “It's not just the Parades, it's also the entertainment programme including the ride over the old circuit and the chance to meet up with old heroes and friends. Everybody shares the same passion.”
Aerts sensed that same passion with his DG Sport crew. “I really would like to thank all of our people, because not only did they work hard during these three days, they also gave it their all while we were preparing the event.”
The Sidecar line-up was better than ever at the Bikers' Classics. Although Steve Webster had to withdraw because of back problems, seven times World Champion Rolf Biland and his passenger Kurt Waltisperg led an impressive star cast which included Alain Michel, Rolf Steinhausen, Werner Schwärzel and Steve Abbott over the 7 kilometer long circuit. Bikers' Classics debutant Biland rode his own LCR Swissauto from 1997. “The circuit is still a lot of fun to ride”, said 63-year-old Biland. “With Kurt it all ran smoothly again. We're old men by now, but if we put in some extra push-ups, I'm sure we'll get back into shape!”
Didier de Radiguès was one of ten racers to ride a Suzuki of British collector Steve Wheatman. De Radiguès rode a 1994 Suzuki RGV500 of his former teammate Kevin Schwantz. Belgian's most successful Grand Prix racer ever rode for the Lucky Strike Suzuki Team in 1991. “Then my bike was already good, but this one is clearly a lot better”, said De Radiguès with sweat running down his face after a fast GP500 Parade with Christian Sarron. “This is absolutely one of the best bikes I have ever ridden. Man, it's easy to ride!”
The 65 teams in the 4 Hours of Spa Classic did not have it easy on Saturday night. The race, which has become a popular part of the Bikers' Classics programme, started off on a dry track but heavy rain and drizzle made for treacherous conditions. After four hours, the win went to Team Force of former Endurance World Champion Richard Hubin and his younger teammate Gregory Fastré. It was the Belgian pairing's second win of the 2014 European Classic Series. In April they also won the race at the French Paul Ricard circuit.
FIRST WEEKEND OF JULY 2015
The programme for the 2015 Bikers' Classics has not been confirmed yet. “We do want to come up with something or someone special”, says Olivier Aerts. “Who or what that will be, is too early to say. The only thing we know for certain is that next year's Bikers' Classics will take place during the first weekend of July. That is for sure.”