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Iron Horse (French) documentary film shot in 1975 about Motorcycle Grand-Prix; for the nostalgics only!

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This is not necessarily an easy documentary to watch, since the majority of the dialogs are in French, without any subtitles. There is some English, German, Italian too.

It mainly revolves around the French pilots of the time, but not only. You can also catch a few glimpses of Ago, Sheene, Jack Findlay, and even a young Roberts.

This documentary is particularly relevant to me, because I got my motorcycle license in 1973, purchased my first bike, a Suzuki T-350, and tried to go to as many of the tracks I could. I had the chance or the privilege to meet most the pilots in the film, especially Barry Sheene.

The documentary explains the life of the Grand-Prix racers at the time; the struggles with finding the budget to race for the privateers which form the basis of the group. Few pilots were actually factory or importer hired. Agostini was one of lucky ones. Most of the others had to work during the week, and drive to the race track on the week-end. They had no support, and had to do everything themselves.

Unlike today, the practice runs would determine if you could participate to the race. Therefore, their participation to the Grand-Prix was not even guaranteed for those obscure pilots.

Kenny Roberts was the first who brought out the spartan financial awards in Europe compared to the USA, with a larger number of spectators in Europe, he said the money compensation should be increased.

Many of the pilots in this documentary passed away in racing accidents later on. Michel Rougerie, Patrick Pons... fortunately, many others have survived and are still active today. By the way, Patrick Pons won the Daytona 200 in 1980; the same year he passed away at the British Grand Prix. (Ago and Jarno Saarinen did win the Daytona 200 too).

Agostini being the obvious example of those still being active today.

In any case, a very authentic and brutal testimony of what Grand-Prix racing was in the 70's.



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