Grand Prix of Germany - History
By Geoff Meyer | 12 Sep 2012
In 1959 Sten Lundin won the first ever Grand Prix of Germany. It was the 500cc class that began the long history between the FIM World Motocross Championships and Lundin, who enjoyed a lot of success in Germany, winning again in 1960, 61 and 64 (no Germany GP was held in 1962 and 1963).
The East Germany Grand Prix began in 1963 and it was British rider Jeff Smith who would win, adding another victory in 1964, before local rider the late Paul Friedrichs would win in 1965, 66, 67, 68 and 1972 (the last victory by Friedrichs in 1972 would also be the last East German GP for the 500cc class). Friedrichs also won the West German GP in 1967 and 1969.
There were of course other multiple winners in Germany, with Belgian great Roger De Coster winning in 1972, 73, 75 and 76.
The 1980's was dominated by Belgians as Andre Vromans won in 1980, followed by Andre Malherbe who won in 1982, 83, 84 and 86. Georges Jobe won in 1987 (adding another in 1992), Eric Geboers won in 1988 and Jacky Martens in 1990. Joel Smets continued the success of Belgian riders in Germany winning in 1993, 94, 95, 98, 2000, 2001(twice), 2002 and 2003 (twice). With 10 GP wins in Germany Smets is the most successful of any rider in the German Grand Prix.
The 250cc class had a multitude of winnings in the 1970s and 80s, but it was Torsten Hallman who won the first wonone, winning in 1962, 63, and 67. The tall Swede also won in East Germany in 62 and our old friend Friedrichs won on a 250 in 1965.
Unlike the 500cc class no single rider dominated the German 250cc GP, no triple winners, in fact from 1968 until 1999 the only double winners were Joel Robert in 1968 and 72 (Robert added an East German GP win in 1971), Marnicqu Bervoets in 1995 and 96 and Stefan Everts in 1998 and 99.
Mickael Pichon took wins in the MX1 class in Germany in 2001 (twice) 2003, 2004, and 2005, while Stefan Everts added German victories in 2003 (two German GP were held again this season), 2005 and 2006.
In the 125cc class began in 1975 and Belgian triple World Champion the late Gaston Rahier won, winning again in 76 and 77. Eric Geboers took the double win in 1980 and 82, while Kees Van Der Ven won in 1984 and 85. American racer and 1994 World 125cc Champion Bobby Moore also scored two wins in the 125cc class in 1990 and 1994.
The only other double winners in Germany in the new millennium were Antonio Cairoli and Ken Roczen. Cairoli won in the MX2 class in 2005 and 2007 and in the MX1 class in 2009 and 2011. Roczen won in 2009 and 2011.
Photo: Antonio Cairoli - Ray Archer image
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