Greg Hancock and the World of Speedway Racingposted Jul 20, 2009
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Everybody knows that the first motorcycle race most likely took place as soon as the second motorcycle was created. Motorcycle competition goes back nearly to the invention of the first motorcycles. Speedway racing is one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing known. The first reported race was in 1923 in New South Wales, Australia, although many claim that there were earlier races held in both Australia and the United States. Over the years Speedway has evolved into one of the most specialized motorcycle racing sports. They generally race on short oval tracks, averaging between 1/4 and 1/2 mile, and each race is run with 4 riders on a line. Using extremely lightweight motorcycles, weighing less than 165lbs, they burn methanol fuel and a 500cc single engine makes over 85 horsepower! With that kind of power to weight ratio, you know these bikes go fast, and getting stopped would be pretty important. However, these guys run these bikes without brakes! You have super fast specialized motorcycles making big power with no brakes, small tracks, and close racing, you know it has to be exciting to watch!
Speedway is a huge sport all over the world, and as a racing goes, it is somewhat unique, as most competitions are team based, with riders individual scores combined to form the team score. They even have special rules that can allow a team to send in a ringer rider if the team gets too far behind! Kind of like a power play in hock...
While Speedway is a more popular in Europe than it is here in the US, there is one American rider who stands out even among the European faithful, and his name is Greg Hancock.
Greg got his start in international competition in 1989 at 19 years old when he joined a British team called Cradley Heath. He was instantly successful in national team and Pairs competition, but was unable to race in the individual championship series until its last few years.
In 1995 the current Grand Prix Championship was formed, and Greg continued his success. In the first year he finished 4th, in 1996 he finished second to teammate Billy Hamill, and in 1997 captured the World GP Championship for himself. In the intervening years, Greg has contested every race in every World GP Championship, the only rider to have done so. While his results have been up and down over the years, they are more up than down, with only two seasons where he finished out of the top 10 overall, and has been in the top five for the last 6 years, barring 2007, where he finished in sixth.
Greg lives in Sweden during the Speedway season, but still has a home in Costa Mesa, California, and races regularly in the United States as well.
Motion Pro has had a long association with Greg as a sponsor, and is proud to be able to support one of the best veterans in the sport.