Common Tread

Video: Racers will be racers, even on an 80-year-old bike

Sep 29, 2016

If you put a two-time World Superbike champion on a motorcycle in the rain and tell him it's a race, you can't be too shocked when he clips a barrier with his shoulder while trying to take the lead and high-sides on a puddle of water, even if the motorcycle in question dates to 1937.

Every year, the Goodwood Revival brings old motorcycles and cars out of retirement. It also brings some racers out of retirement, to mix it up with others who haven't retired yet. It's a recipe for some thrilling action, and the high points for us two-wheel types are the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy Races on Saturday and Sunday of the event. Troy Corser made a special contribution to the highlights reel this year, as race one ran in a downpour and race two took place under clear, sunny skies.

If you haven't already watched this year's action, I'll make it easy for you, depending on your interest level in old motorcycles and how much time you can steal. If you want to invest less than three minutes, watch the race one highlights, because the rain definitely made it interesting.

If you prefer the highlights without rain, here's race two in a bit more than two minutes.

If you just want to see a sublime lap by a great rider going way faster than a flexy old German motorcycle ought to be able to go, then watch this flying lap by Corser in qualifying. It's a thing of beauty.

But if you have the time, I suggest making the full investment and watching all of race one in the rain. Where else are you going to see a rider pat another on the back while executing a pass or watch a 1933 Rudge make a pass for the lead? Only at Goodwood.