Eight-time World Champion Phil Read began his career in 1964 racing aboard a 250cc Yamaha.
There are many excellent classic motorcycling festivals held throughout Europe but for hard core race fans there is only one event worth considering: Bikers Classics, held at the Spa Francorchamps track which is, by a huge margin, the best race circuit in the world.
Every year, the Bikers Classics’ team brings in a galaxy of superstars to reflect the current year’s theme. For 2011, in celebration of 50 years of Yamaha racing, the famous Belgian circuit will echo to the scream of unsilenced two-strokes as Yamaha
icons, Phil Read and Johnny Cecotto, are back in action on the bikes which made them famous.
Read is truly one of motorcycling’s greats with eight World Championships to his name – and in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and 750cc – classes and an incredible 121 times on the podium. Phil began his World Championship winning career aboard a 250cc Yamaha in 1964. At Bikers Classics he will be in action on a replica of the legendary four cylinder factory Yamaha he campaigned during the 1968 season.
Johnny Cecotto will join Read for three days of track action at Spa. The Venezuelan was a real sensation when he took Giacomo Agostini's 350 world title in 1975 at only nineteen years old.
Johnny was a fully paid up member of Barry Sheene’s “jet set” racers, who were the start of the modern era of motorcycling. In 1976, Cecotto, as newly crowned 350 World Champion, held the best riders in the world at bay to win the Daytona 200 – at the time one of the most important races in the world.
Johnny Cecotto snatched Giacomo Agostini's 350 title in 1975 and will join Read at Spa Francorshamps.
Two years later Johnny underlined his versatile nature as a racer by also clinching the F750 world title.
After the 1980 season Cecotto changed from two wheels to four and continued his winning ways in both Formula One and Touring cars.
Joining Johnny will be one of his compatriots – Formula 750 World Champion Steve Baker: no doubt they will be both reliving the battles they had aboard the mighty Yamaha TZ750s in the 1970s.
In addition to the superstars there are 400 other race bikes in action ranging from the exotic, like the Moto Guzzi
V8, to the great GP bikes from Matchless and Norton.
Spectator admission for a three day ticket is 30 Euros (just over $40) and this includes paddock access, grandstand seating and open access to the bikes and riders.
Spa Francorchamps is 90 miles from Brussels airport and is very easily accessible. For more information go to: www.eng.bikersclassics.be