Remembering Pat Hennen

The first American winner in the premier class has sadly passed away

MotoGP™ joins the motorcycle community in remembering Pat Hennen. A pioneer at the forefront of an American wave of riders who would come to define an era of motorcycle Grand Prix racing, Hennen will go down in history as the first ever American winner in the premier class thanks to his victory in the 500cc race at 1976 Finnish Grand Prix.

Hennen, born in Arizona and raised in northern California, began his career only a few years earlier, racing dirt track before switching focus to circuit competition. 1976 was his rookie season in Grand Prix racing, but Hennen nevertheless took that historic 500cc win as well as two further podiums on his way to third overall. 1977 saw him take five more podiums, including another win at the British Grand Prix.

In 1978, Hennen started the season with four podiums, including another victory, in the five rounds he competed in. Injury sustained at a separate event then sadly cut his career short.

MotoGP™ sends our condolences to all those who loved, knew and competed with Hennan, and will celebrate his legacy as a true pioneer in Grand Prix racing.