If you have any interest in motorcycles then there is only one place to be on the planet over the weekend of May 10/11 - and that’s Darley Moor in Derbyshire for Thundersprint 2014.
Biggest, best, most – they’re all subjective but for 100% certain there has never been such a wide range of GP stars, young and old, gathered at one single event.
MotoGP rookie Scott Redding is just one of a host of GP stars set to take part in Thundersprint 2014.
At the head of the list is Scott Redding who is setting the MotoGP world on fire with his results so far this season.
Scott said: “I have ridden at the Thundersprint twice before and I honestly loved every minute of it. GP racing is a serious business – very serious indeed. My mind is entirely focussed on winning and I really do miss the chance to mix with fans.
“The Thundersprint is a giant two-day party for anyone who loves bikes and, best of all, I’ve got the time to talk to fans, have photographs taken and be with them socially. In fact, all the things I love but can’t do at a GP.
“Darley Moor looks like a great little track so I’m going to have a play about on a Honda Fireblade and just have a good time. I can’t wait until May.”
Sharing the track with Scott will be World Supersport Champion Sam Lowes who is now running tenth in Moto 2 – and this in his rookie season.
Sam said: ““The Thundersprint is going to be like a GP paddock with Scott Redding, John McGuinness and all the classic greats.
“Personally, I am looking forward to meeting six times World Champion Jim Redman who has been one of my Dad’s heroes forever.
Sam Lowes (above) and John McGuinness (below) will also be on hand interacting with fans during Thundersprint 2014.
“It’s going to be a real privilege for me to share the same paddock as these legends.”
Maybe Sam will get some tips from TT legend John McGuinness in case the young GP star ever decides to go road racing.
John said: “I have been meaning to ride at the Thundersprint for years and years but there has always been some clash which has prevented me from making an appearance and so I am really pleased to be there at last.
“In some ways, the Thundersprint is very much like the TT because there is a really relaxed atmosphere for the spectators with Mums and Dads and the family dog there, alongside hard core race fans.
“The difference is that no matter how much I want to be with fans, the TT is a serious business and my mind has to be focused on racing.
“The Thundersprint will be completely different. I will have all the time in the world for fans and when I am not having a play about on the track with Scott Redding, Sam Lowes and Nick Jefferies, I will be in the paddock talking about the TT.”
For fans of Japanese classics Britain’s best all round motorcyclist Nick Jefferies will be in action on the track, riding both the ex-works Honda RC30, on which he won the 1993 Formula 1 TT, and a selection of factory Yamahas provided by the Phil Morris Motorcycle Museum.
In an era of superstars with supersized egos, Nick is refreshingly modest and down to earth. “At heart, I am an enthusiast who has always liked to go and ride for the hell of it rather than saying 'How much are you paying?'
“I actually think that we are privileged as riders - and doubly privileged if spectators are kind enough to show an interest in what we do.
“This is one of the attractions of the Thundersprint. The atmosphere will be great, I’ve got an immaculate and lovingly prepared bike in Phil Morris’ V&M Yamaha and I will have the chance to meet fans personally – as well as having a play about on the track. What could be better?”
“It’s going to be a great weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Six-time TT winner Jim Redman will lead the classic mega-star charge during Thunderspring 2014.
Leading the classic mega stars is six times World Champion, and winner of six TTs, Jim Redman.
Jim said: “I have consulted my lawyers and they have confirmed that it would be illegal to run a Thundersprint without me riding – or at the very least immoral!
“I look forward to every single Thundersprint because it is the only event in the year where I actually race – if only against the clock.
“I have had a good look at the video of the Darley Moor circuit
and it looks a really great little track and just so much fun to ride. The setting is beautiful too and it will make a fantastic venue for a world class event like the Thundersprint.
“I am bringing my whole team with me in the form of Clive Brooker and his lovely CR750 Honda. Clive’s bike is beautifully prepared and I ride it so often that it feels very much my bike.
“Thundersprint 2014 is going to be a great event and I look forward to meeting all my fans in May at Darley Moor.”
Parked next to Jim will be motorcycling legend Sammy Miller. Sam will be bringing what is arguably the most exotic bike at this year’s Thundersprint - the incredibly rare, four cylinder, Type 673 works Jawa as ridden by 125cc World Champion Bill Ivy.
Sammy Miller is set to bring what is arguably the most exotic bike at this year's Thundersprint, a Type 673 works Jawa.
Sammy acquired the bike for the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum in October 2013 and the Thundersprint will be its maiden outing on the international festival circuit.
The Thundersprint is a giant, relaxed motorcycling party but close your eyes and imagine what’s going to happen on the track when you put all these superstars together! It’s going to be the 5th November seven months early!
Backing up the stars is a huge entry of riders with bikes stretching all the way from the early 1930s to the latest superbikes and a fantastic array of club stands. Away from the paddock, there is a giant trade area, Fine Food Court, simulator rides, a fairground and what is billed as Europe’s biggest inflatable fun center.
Kids and pets are very welcome at the Thundersprint and both have free admission.
Thundersprint organiser Frank Melling explains the philosophy behind the Thundersprint. “We want to show the very best of motorcycling to the widest possible audience. This is why everywhere except the race track is open and our star riders are completely accessible.
“Regardless of what your interest in motorcycling is, you will find something to excite you at the Thundersprint – whether it’s a Pre-War vintage racer, a stunning restoration of a British classic or simply a day out with the kids in a relaxed atmosphere.
“If you can’t enjoy yourself at the Thundersprint you really don’t like bikes!”
Thundersprint 2014 swings into action over the weekend of May 10/11 at the beautiful Darley Moor circuit in Ashbourne, Derbyshire with the gates opening at 12.00 on Friday 9 May.
A weekend admission ticket is £10 and camping for the weekend is £20. Well behaved pets, and kids, come in for free.
For more information go to www.thundersprint.com
or phone 01928 740 498.
For more information contact Frank Melling on 01928 740 498 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org