Long track motorcycle racing
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The Long track (more commonly known as the longtrack, or German Sandbahn) is a motorcycle sport version of speedway, but taking place on tracks ranging from 800 to 1000 metres in length at much higher speeds. There are also subtle differences between the machinery in that a longtrack bike is slightly larger and has a two-speed gearbox. Races (or heats) usually consist of six riders although occasionally they have eight.
The sport is popular in Germany, perhaps even more so than speedway. This means that the majority of tracks are to be found in that country, although tracks can also be found in France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Finland and Norway. Long track meetings are also held in Australia (for both Solos and Sidecars with both state and national championships), New Zealand and the United States with the higher profile Australian and New Zealand Long track Grand Prix's often attracting the top riders from Europe. Due to the lack of genuine Long Track speedways in those countries outside of Europe, meetings generally take place at ½ Mile Harness Racing or Showground venues.
The similarities with speedway means that many riders from that discipline also take part in longtrack. Whilst there are no leagues in longtrack, there are many lucrative open meetings which offer a means of additional income. Longtrack is also closely related to grasstrack and most riders compete in both disciplines.
|Individual||World Individual (1971-) |
European Individual (1957-1970)
|Team||World Team (2007-)|
The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), the World's motorcycle racing authority run a World Longtrack series as well as a World Championships. Although both events are named Long Track, they often are competed for on Grass.
The Individual Long Track World Championship competitors must qualify through a series of Qualifiers. Riders must be selected by their nations motorcycling authority. Riders then must compete in Qualifying rounds and hotly contested Semi Finals before reaching the World Longtrack series proper.
The Team Long Track World Championship involves each team consisting of 3 riders racing each other for points. The top team at the end is the winner. Germany have won first place in all of the past championships.