Is this the craziest start in motorcycle racing?

The start is the most intense and dangerous part of any motorcycle race, but we reckon this Swedish enduro race takes the cake

2023 Gotland Grand National. - Gotland Grand National/Dary Karina

If piling hundreds of bikes into a 90-degree corner is your idea of fun, the 2023 Gotland Grand National has you covered.

The Gotland Grand National is one of the most famous enduro races in Scandinavia, and, indeed, in Europe. Its history stretches back to 1984, and almost 40 years on from that original race, its numbers are still almost unfathomable.

Unlike the Erzbergrodeo, for example, which sets its riders off in groups, the Gotland Grand National lets everyone go at once. The result, as you can see in the video below, is surely one of the craziest starts to any motorcycle race.

The Saturday start list for the 2023 edition has 2,347 entries, with 327 finishers classified on the results sheet.  The winner of the 2023 race, Albin Elowson, finished in 3:13:59, beating British rider and 2023 EnduroGP Champion Steve Holcombe, while New Zealand’s Hamish Macdonald took third place for Sherco.

The first five positions were held by riders in the Elitt (Elite) category, but in sixth place was Viking Lindstrom from the 15-23 Junior class. A notable achievement in itself, Lindstrom finished ahead of fellow Swedes Anton Gole and Alvin Ostlund, both of whom are established riders in the MXGP World Championship. This year, Gole also spent part of his summer in the US, where he raced four AMA Pro Motocross Nationals at Spring Creek, Washougal, Unadilla, and Budds Creek, taking a best result of 15th at the latter. Meanwhile, Ostlund was part of this year’s Team Sweden at the Motocross of Nations, where he took a best result of 19th, as Sweden finished 20th overall.

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Image credit: Gotland Grand National/Dary Karina.