Classic GP: Spa-Francorcamps 1974

It was a race of extremes. Bikes seized, Barry Sheene was left coasting and Read romped home.

Building to the race…

The seventh round of the 1974 500cc World Championship took place at the picturesque and ultra-fast mountain circuit at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Waiting for the start of the race. From left: #8 Jack Findlay AUS Suzuki, #4 Giacomo Agostini IT Yamaha, #30 Barry Sheene GB Suzuki, #56 Gianfranco Bonera IT MV-Agusta, #48 John Williams GB Yamaha, #64 Teuvo Länsivuori SF Yamaha, #12 Dieter Braun D Yamaha, #66 John Dodds AUS Yamaha and #2 Phil Read GB MV-Agusta.

Phil Read was fastest in practice on the MV- Agusta but there was only 0.1 second to Teuvo Länsivuori on the works Yamaha-4. At Spa MV showed up with an experimental fairing developed at the Turin University to try in practice.

The small wing fitted on either side at the front of the fairing proved a bad idea. Phil Read and Gianfranco Bonera did only a few laps with them.

Yamaha unveiled a new lightweight slim-line four-cylinder 500cc 0W23 for Giacomo Agostini.

Read more in the March/April issue of CR – out now!

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