The Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the most iconic annual motorsports events in the world. Celebrating the rich legacy of motor racing in all its forms, the festival pays homage to the rich past of motorsports, while celebrating the modern era of racing. At the same time, it points an eye at the future of the sport, highlighting the passion and camaraderie that lie at the very heart of motorsports.
For 2023, a lot of historic vehicles made their rounds throughout the classic circuit. Among these are past and present MotoGP icons that made their presence felt in full force. A sharp contrast to the otherwise idyllic landscape of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex England, the roars of both classic and modern race bikes turned heads during the iconic festival.
Despite the wet weather, both past and present MotoGP icons donned their leathers and rode up the hill. On Thursday, July 13, 2023, Pol Espargaro, aboard the GasGas Factory Racing machine, as well as Michele Pirro of the Ducati Lenovo Racing Team, Mika Kallio of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and Lorenzo Savadori of Aprilia Racing all showcased the 2023 lineup of race bikes in full force.
If on Thursday, the modern-day contingent of the MotoGP treated fans and spectators to a show of exhilarating machinery, Friday focused more on the icons and legends that have brought the sport to where it is today. Among the notable icons was 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwants, and his iconic Suzuki RGV500. He was joined by the likes of Wayne Gardner, 1987 500cc World Champion, as well as other MotoGP legends like Randy Mamola and Kenny Roberts Jr.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the day was a remarkable appearance by Casey Stoner. Riding his iconic Ducati Desmosedici GP adorned with the Number 1 livery of the 2008 season – the season following his Championship in 2007, fans and spectators were transported back in time to what could be considered the glory days of MotoGP. It was because of Stoner and the Desmosedici GP that a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts of today – myself included – are so passionate about the sport and motorcycles as a whole.