2011 Race Retro Celebrates Italian Motorcycle Brands

Earlier this year, the Race Retro event has paid tribute to Norton, celebrating the British motorcycle brand’s 60-year anniversary. Next year’s Race Retro celebrates all that’s best in Italian bikes, bringing together machines and riders over three days when it returns to Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, on February 25-27.

At Race Retro 2011, visitors will get the chance to feast their eyes on a tribute display of Italian race bikes, dazzled by the Gilera, the MV Agusta 'Fire Engines', the Benellis, the Moto Guzzis and the Desmodromic Ducatis, from lightweight singles through booming V twins to the Desmosedici Moto GP challenger.

“Benelli, Ducati, Gilera, MV Agusta and Moto Guzzi have constantly wowed fans with their sound, their looks and their appearance, and along the way have attracted the best riders, further cementing their place in the pantheons of motorcycle competition history,” a statement from Race Retro reads. “Since the 1930s they have enjoyed a strong following, and much of that loyalty is based on consistently-strong motor sport prowess.”

Establishing numerous records and winning key events, Italian motorcycles have consistently battled with bikes from other countries to establish two-wheeled supremacy, particularly in road racing. Take for example a Gilera 500, who in the hands of Bob McIntyre became the first bike to post a 100 mph Isle of Man TT lap back in 1957.

“'Let me hold the microphone over the wall so that you can hear the fabulous Gilera four as MacIntyre passes my commentary point'. The words of the BBC radio TT commentator, in clipped tones issues forth from the sturdy valve radio, it's 1957, and sitting excitedly alongside Dad, ears glued to the radio, we can hear the Norton and AJS singles rasping through, then suddenly, the sound we've been waiting, hoping, to hear. The 500 Gilera, Bob MacIntyre on his way to the first ever 100 mph TT lap, four megaphones strike a harmonic howl as he passes,” Race Retro recalls.
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