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No electronics and loggers at Donington Classic Festival

Factory teams in MotoGP typically employ two data technicians per rider, another data expert in the garage shared between two riders, another half dozen in the race truck, and still more back at base. At the Donington Classic Festival this weekend, 500 bikes will be on track, without the need for a single digital guru.

It's not that classic people wear clogs and listen to Bakelite radios. It's just that they like to keep their motorcycle racing pure - bike, rider, track. "If starts to creep in, we'll get rid of it," the CRMC's machine eligibility consultant Gordon Russell says of digital technology.

The Donington Festival is the biggest historic racing event on the UK mainland, with around 50 races organised over the three days by the CRMC (Classic Racing Motorcycle Club), as well as up to ten parades and 120 machines in static displays.


The club covers the period from the 1950s to 1986, and machines will range from 125cc two-stroke singles, to 1300cc naked superbikes of the Eddie Lawson era.

In between you can expect to find Manx Nortons and Matchless G50s, BSA Gold Stars, TZ Yamahas, BMW-powered sidecar outfits, Triumph Tridents and virtually anything else that's appeared on a racetrack during the CRMC's period of machine coverage. There's even a flood of Yamaha FZ600s in the junior production class, which provides an inexpensive way to get into classic racing.

Steve Baker, the first American to win a road racing world championship, with the 1977 Formula 750 title on a factory Yamaha, is the event's guest of honour. A highlight of the static displays will be the six Grand Prix Triumphs provided by Triumph collector Dick Shepherd. Triumph made a batch of the 500cc twins as production racers after Ernie Lyons won the 1946 Manx Grand on a bike developed from the factory's Tiger 100 road bike.

If you've never been to a classic race meeting before, but wonder why the scene is booming, a visit to Donington will explain. Just meandering around the pits can occupy hours, as you find a variety of machinery that makes a modern race paddock look monochrome. And not a data logger to be seen.

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