A history of Grand Prix racing in Argentina

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

As Argentina returns to the World Championship calendar after an absence of 14 years, motogp.com provides a brief history of Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the South American country.

1961 – The final event of the year was held in Buenos Aires, which was the first time that a Grand Prix had taken place outside of Europe. Not all of the top riders attended the event and the 500 race was won by Argentinean Jorge Kissling from fellow countryman Juan Carlos Salatino. This event is often remembered for what occurred in the 125 class, when championship contender Ernst Degner from East Germany did not start the race which was won by Australian Tom Phillis, resulting in Phillis taking the world title – the first for Honda in the 125 category

1962 – Once again, the Grand Prix was not supported by the top GP riders of the day. Argentinean riders were again successful in the 500 class, with Benedicto Caldarella winning and Juan Carlos Salatino again finishing second. The 250 race was won by Arthur Wheeler at the age of 46 – the oldest rider to win a Grand Prix and the last of Moto Guzzi’s 45 GP wins. New Zealander Hugh Anderson won the 50cc and 125cc races on Suzuki machinery. Ernst Degner finished second in the 50cc race to clinch the world title – the first ever for Suzuki

1963 – World Champion Mike Hailwood raced in Argentina for the first time on the factory MV Agusta and dominated by lapping all other riders and finishing six laps in front of the rider finishing in sixth place. Hugh Anderson on a Suzuki again won the 50cc race, Jim Redman on a Honda took the 125 win and in the 250 class Tarquinio Provini gave Morini their last ever win

1981/82 – After a 17-year gap, Grand Prix racing returned to Argentina in 1981, again taking place in Buenos Aires. The 1981 event included races in the 125, 250 and 350 categories, won by Angel Nieto, Jean-Francois Balde and Jon Ekerold, respectively. In 1982, the 500 class was included and was won by Kenny Roberts from Barry Sheene, with third-place finisher Freddie Spencer giving a debut to the new three-cylinder Honda two-stroke. Angel Nieto gave Garelli their first Grand Prix win in the 125 class and Carlos Lavado won the 350 race

1987 – After a gap of four years, Argentina was again included as the final race; this time, just the 250 and 500 classes were included, with the respective winners Sito Pons and Eddie Lawson

1994-95, 98-99 – The Argentinian Grand prix appeared on the schedule on four occasions in the 1990s, but without becoming an established event on the calendar. In 1994, Jorge Martinez took the last of his 37 GP wins; this was also the last win in the 125 class by Yamaha. Perhaps the most notable incident in this period was in the 250 class in 1998, when team-mates Loris Capirossi and Tetsuya Harada arrived in Argentina for the final race separated by just two points. The title was decided when the two riders collided at the final corner and Harada crashed, while Capirossi clinched the title. In 1999, Emilio Alzamora finished second in the 125 race to clinch the world title by a single point from closest rival Marco Melandri, who had attempted to slow the race

TAGS Argentina

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