© 2016, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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From 1991 until 2001, Steve McLaughlin’s Pro Superbike
series was one of the most popular racing series in Europe with factory-backed
teams, strong spectator attendance and live TV coverage.
Last weekend, May 16-18, the series came back to life when
dozens of its former racers brought their machines for the Pro Superbike
Revival during the ADAC Sachsenring Classic at the Sachsenring Grand Prix
“We had 35 bikes, but 38 riders showed up. Some guys came
without bikes just to be there,” said McLaughlin, a former AMA Superbike star,
an AMA Hall of Fame member and the man who created the Superbike World
Championship. “We had several of the Champions: Christer Lindholm from Sweden,
Jochen Schmid the German, Edwin Weibel, Peter Rubatto a.k.a. Mr. Superbike.
“I’ve never gone to a high school reunion or anything like
that before and Germans by nature are not smiley people – you’ve never seen so
many guys with shit-eating grins. They were so happy to get together. It was
pretty amazing that we fielded 35 Superbikes for a one-off event when they can’t
get that many in World Superbike.”
The program, according to McLaughlin, called for the riders
to do three 15-minute exhibition sessions each day of the weekend and autograph
sessions each day.
“We only printed 250 autograph cards,” for each rider, said
McLaughlin, “and 30 of the 35 guys ran out of them on Friday with two more days
McLaughlin estimated that the event drew over 15,000 fans
even though Sunday, the third and final day of the event was hit with heavy
rain. Plans are already in the works to hold a similar event in 2015, he said.