Hot Lap Around Spa-Francorchamps With Xavier Simeon
If you’re a fan of motorsport on both two and four wheels like me, then you should be familiar with the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Here, Belgian native Xavier Simeon, the 2009 FIM Superstock 1000 champion and current Moto2 competitor, does a couple flying laps around his home track aboard a Honda CBR600RR at what appears to be a trackday. The speed he carries and the smoothness of his riding are simply extraordinary.
Long a staple of the Formula 1 calendar, the circuit has been a part of MotoGP (then known as 500cc) off and on since its inception in 1949. Its high-speeds, flowing corners and elevation changes are what endear this track to racers and enthusiasts the world over. Turns like Eau Rouge and Blanchimont are embedded in racing folklore as turns that separate the men from the boys.
Of course, combine these high speeds with little run-off and the close proximity of the barriers, and it’s easy to see why Formula 1 boycotted the track for 13 years between 1969 and 1982. Spa held its final grand prix motorycle race in 1990, won by Wayne Rainey. The track has continually made changes to improve safety, but still today the track is simply too dangerous to conduct a world-class caliber motorcycle race. Which makes Simeon’s commitment during these laps — with armco barriers only a few feet away at times — all the more spectacular.
Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.
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