Anyway, the meeting was one of the best planned and most enjoyable events I've been to for a long time. Besides the track action there was a display area in the paddock with variety of club displays, collections and a stage. So much was going on it was difficult to get around without being distracted. A programme was a must and even this impressed - nice design, a good read and well worth a fiver.
First stop was the Gold Star Owners Club immaculately restored bikes and lots of chrome, a nightmare to photograph close up on a sunny day!
Further on there was a nice line up of RC45s, Honda's iconic 1990s superbike.
I stopped quite a while for a chat at Road & Race Classics who specialise in the sales, repair and restoration of classic road and race motorcycles. The two bikes that caught my eye were a Honda RVF 750 RC45 and a Honda VFR750R RC30 (a French Bol D'Or import). Both great bikes but I love the classic paintwork of the RC30, if I had a spare £17000 I'd have it! You can find more bikes and details at Road & Race Classics.
On to the stage where Steve Plater interviewed Peter Williams - a brief but interesting history of his time as a rider and engineer with some amusing anecdotes.
James Hayden had his work cut out but did a good job interviewing Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini. Plenty of banter and a some good laughs - Ago came across as very funny and charismatic.
Wandering around the display area a little later I came across Phil Read firing up the MV Agusta 4 cylinder on his way to one of the parades.
Here he is earlier in the paddock after returning the John Player Norton. Peter Williams in the background.
This is a photo I never thought I would take - the legendary Giacomo Agostini on the MV Agusta 3 cylinder going through Hall Bends……..
and this was a bike I never thought I'd see or hear in action, the fantastic sounding Honda 6 ridden by John Cronshaw.
All in all a great success, rare and exotic bikes with past and present stars seemingly around every corner. Johnathon Palmer should be rightly proud of the event that he and the staff have organised. My only regret is that I didn't attend both days.
A Velocette in a Suzuki frame - can't imagine what it would be like the other way round!
This is a 1968 Lynton 500 DOHC 4 valve, a one off, made by Colin Lyster. The bottom half is a Hillman Imp engine with Lysters own cylinder head. A lack of funds apparently led to the project being abandoned.
I don't think I've ever seen so many holes drilled in one motorcycle.
Beautiful Vincent Comet.
Good looking Kawasaki Z440 cafe racer.
I love MVs, this 2015 MV Agusta F4 RC (1 of just 250) must be the best looking bike out there.
Just to rub it in this was around the corner.
And then another.
At the other end of the scale was this gorgeous little French 75cc Burdin which is actually a "derny" used as a pacing machine for cycling events.
A Gillette Special195cc. Take 3 Mobylette moped cylinder heads and cylinders with home built crankcases in a Gilera frame and you have a Gillette.
I liked this - the duo of bike and rider had a good period look although I couldn't identify the Triumph model.
Going for it! Vanessa McGlone getting the last mph out of her 1962 49cc Phillips Panda.
The following photographs include cars which for one reason or another grabbed my attention, although my favourite was the fire breathing Mustang of Warren Briggs.
Peter Shaw in the 1969 TVR Tuscan leads off the start line followed by the fast starting Charles Barter (Datsun 240Z), Jim Dean (Lotus Europa) and Julian Barter (TVR 3000M) in the HSCC 70's Road Sports Race.
The sprint for second continued into Coppice three abreast which can end in tears but on this occasion all got safely round.
Dean Forward, Techno TF3
David Innes, Lotus 27 at Hall Bends
Warren Briggs chasing the Ford Lotus Cortinas in his spectacular 4700 cc Ford Mustang
Mark Hulme in the beautiful 1975 TOJ Modus
Ian Jones (Lotus 59) chased very hard into the Mountain by Ben Simms (Elfin 600)
Stuart Dix in the striking Cooper Chinook
Arriving at NH La Maquinista we found a comfortable modern hotel the rooms having free wifi, airconditioning and satellite TV with English, French, Italian and Spanish channels. We didn't opt for breakfast as this is only available from 8.00am at the weekends and we preferred to have an early start. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel was next to La Maquinista open air shopping mall, This was an impressive development with a huge variety of cafes and restaurants on the top floor. I can recommend the Catalan sausages and patatas bravas with local beer we enjoyed in the evenings at The Butipà cafe. Live music added to the atmosphere.
Different music each day at La Maquinista
The trains to Montmeló were every 30 minutes and the journey was about 15 minutes. The trains were clean, in good condition, very smooth and came when they were meant to - unlike in the UK. From the station we didn't have to look for circuit directions we just followed everyone else. Many of the local shops on the route were selling bottles of water and freshly prepared sandwiches at the roadside, a far cheaper option than buying at the circuit. However canned drinks were not allowed through the gates so don't get caught out like I and many others did.
Just join the flow
The walk took around 30 minutes, a shuttle bus was available about halfway into the walk but it just didn't seem worthwhile and there was plenty to take in. Tickets scanned at the circuit gate we then had to queue for a bag search as canned drinks were not allowed. I had the choice of drinking my can of Coke or forfeiting it - I let it go as I'd been drinking water along the way. I saw a number of people taking cans back to their cars. The pain of having a can taken from me like a naughty kid eased when we got to the Monster area as drinks were free.
Monster Energy tower contained replica bikes and game stations.
A major feature seemed to be the girls……..
which of course kept the lads happy!!
On a hot day like this the free drinks tent was busy all day.
The circuit itself is fantastic plenty of grandstands, well positioned monitors and good spectator banks.
You have to admire the lengths some fans go to….
but these Maverick Viñales fans were the most original.
As for the races Lorenzo won a slightly dull race with Rossi closing him down for second, with Dani Pedrosa a distant third. The best race of the day was the Moto3 event in which the lead was continually changing. Danny Kent always looked to be in control and sure enough crossed the finish line in front of Enea Bastianini. Moto2 was won by Zarco from Rins and Rabat with Sam Lowes just missing out on a podium spot.
I'd definitely go again, travelling is easy, the circuits great and the weather hot but I've never been to Italy…….