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West breaks 25 year drought for Australia

West breaks 25 year drought for Australia

West breaks 25 year drought for Australia

Anthony West´s historic debut victory at Assen on Saturday ended a quarter of a century of drought for Australia in the 250cc class. Before West, it was 25 years since Gregg Hansford took his final victory of the 1978 season at Rijeka in the former Yugoslavia riding the Kawasaki. Hansford took four wins that season but finished second in the championship to factory colleague Kork Ballington, a result the pair would repeat one year later.

Only three other Australian riders had previously achieved success in the 250cc class – Kel Carruthers, who won the title on a Benelli in 1969 and took a total of seven wins, John Dodds and Tom Phillis. Dodds won the Spanish Grand Prix in 1973 and 1974 riding a Yamaha, whilst Phillis won two races on a Honda in the 1961 season, in France and Argentina.

$$$ Australia have had much more success in the premier-class, where Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner, Darryl Beattie, Jack Findlay, Garry McCoy, Jack Ahearn, Ken Kavanagh and Kevin Magee have all contributed to a total of 84 wins. Doohan, of course, won five straight titles in the nineties and Gardner one in 1987, but their most recent success story was McCoy, who slid his way to three wins at Welkom, Estoril and Valencia in 2000.

However, at just 21 years of age and with his reputation growing at every race, West will have his sights firmly set on rewriting more chapters in the history of Grand Prix racing over the coming seasons, as he finally looks to establish himself as Australia´s brightest star.

250cc, 2003, Anthony West

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