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Former 250 title challenger and 14-time Grand Prix winner Ralf Waldmann passed away recently, and the paddock have been sharing their condolences and memories of the German racing legend and paddock personality since.
Racing in the 80cc World Championship first, in 1987, Waldmann moved to 125s in 1990 and finished in the top four of the title standings three times in four years. His next move, into the 250 World Championship in 1994, saw the German stand on the rostrum for the first time, and that year he also took his first win to end the year in fifth. 1995 gathered more momentum and he took three more wins to finish third overall, before 1996 dawned two seasons of fighting right at the top.
1996 saw Waldmann miss out on the intermediate class crown by just six points to Max Biaggi, and the following year he came even closer as he finished the season only two points down on the Italian.
Flashback: The champion who never was
But the main candidate for Waldmann’s most famous Grand Prix win came a number of seasons later, at Donington Park, when the German came from incredibly far back to win it at the final corner in 2000 – a true vintage that will always remain a classic.
2000 British GP 250cc Highlights
The MotoGP™ community extends its condolences to Waldmann’s family, friends and colleagues past and present as we remember ‘Waldi’.
Hervé Poncharal: “Ralf has been a fierce rival in racing with Olivier Jacque. I’m shocked! He was such a unique person, full of passion and crazy like all of us. He was an incredible strong character in our world. You left too early, my friend!”— Monster Yamaha Tech3 (@Tech3Racing) 11 de marzo de 2018
R.I.P. Waldi pic.twitter.com/MciwXMe4ri
The entire Forward Racing Team wants to express its deepest condolences to Ralf's family and friends. He has always been a fair sportsman and a very special and positive person. We will miss him. #ralfwaldmann #forward #forwardracing #moto2 pic.twitter.com/0DyzUBjvEj— Forward Racing (@ForwardRacingGP) 11 de marzo de 2018