Jan de Vries has passed away

The two-time World Champion, and first Dutchman to win a motorcycle World Championship, has sadly died at the age of 77

Two-time World Champion and the first Dutchman to win a motorcycle world title, Jan de Vries, has sadly died at the age of 77.

He clinched his first 50cc World Championship in 1971 after taking victory at the Salzburgring, the Hockenheimring, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Jarama. In doing so, the Kreidler rider stopped MotoGP™ Legend Angel Nieto from winning a third-straight 50cc World Championship.

One year later, the pair were once again embroiled in a fierce title fight. They took three victories each and were tied on 69 points apiece following the final round at Montjuïc Park in Barcelona, with Nieto crowned World Champion thanks to aggregate time across the eight-round season.

Jan de Vries

The Dutchman would have his revenge in 1973, however, taking his second, and final, 50cc World Championship. Victories at Monza, Opatija, Spa-Francorchamps, Anderstorp and at the final round in Jarama saw him clinch the title in dominant fashion.

Nine days after his 77th birthday, de Vries sadly passed away in his native Netherlands on Thursday.

Everyone at MotoGP™ sends their deepest condolences to his family and friends.