1980 – 89
Olivier CHEVALLIER – Le Castellet – 6 April 1980. Popular rider who was killed in the Moto Journal 200 race on the Paul Ricard circuiat the “Verrerie” bend. Olivier Chevallier (born February 6, 1949 in Vendôme) was a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer from France. His best year was in 1977 when he finished in sixth place in the 350cc world championship. His only Grand Prix victory came at the 1976 350cc Yugoslavian Grand Prix at Opatija. Chevallier raced motorcycles designed and built by his brother Alain Chevallier.
Alec DICK: (no pic available) – Bathurst Australia, Easter 1980 motorcycle races – 4 April 1980. During practice Alec lost control of his Kawasaki Superbike near the end of Conrod Straight and hit a hidden concrete culvert at high speed.
Rob MOORHOUSE – Bathurst, Australia, 6 April 1980. Rob Moorhouse crashed during the Unlimited Grand Prix at the end of the Skyline and was killed when he slid at high speed under the metal armco barrier. The cause of the accident was attributed to a front brake line being incorrectly fitted and being abraided by the front wheel during the race.
Pic by Phillip C. Hall
Alex CAMPBELL: 25 May 1980 – Adelaide International Raceway – South Australia -sadly killed in his retirement race. Multiple Australian sidecar racing champion, competed at the Isle of Man and the Indonesian GP. (thanks to Brian Dunn for information) (pic – velobanjogent.blogspot.com)
Roger CORBETT: – IOM – 6 June 1980 (no pic of Roger available). crashed at Glen Helen during the Classic TT.
Mervyn ROBINSON -Northwest 200 at Mathers Cross – 10 May 1980. Crashed his Seeley framed 351cc Yamaha during the 500 race.
Geoff FAWCETT – Cadwell 1980 – sidecar crash at Hall Bends (date uncertain) (no pic of Geoff available).
Patrick PONS – British GP 500 1980, Silverstone (pic here). Patrick Pons (December 24, 1952 in Paris – August 10, 1980) was a Grand Prix motorcycle road racer from France. His best year was in 1974 when he finished in third place in the 250cc and the 350cc world championships. Pons became the first Frenchman to win an F.I.M. world championship when he won the 1979 Formula 750 title. In 1980, he won the prestigious Daytona 200. He was killed in 1980 at the British Grand Prix.
Christian LEON – died 8 Nov 1980 – testing a Suzuki at Suzuka in Japan. Christian was well known for competing in endurance events such as the Bol Dór and le Mans.
Malcolm WHITE – British GP Sidecars 10 August 1980, Silverstone. Killed after colliding with the sidecar of Yvan Trolliet going into Woodcote Corner
Pic supplied by Phillip Wain
Wallace COATES – killed at Kirkistown Northern Ireland – 30 August 1980 (no pic of Wallace available)
Michel ROUGERIE – Yugoslavian GP 350 1981, Rijeka. Michel Rougerie (April 21, 1950 in Montreuil-sous-Bois – May 31, 1981 in Rijeka) was a Grand Prix motorcycle road racer from France. His best year was in 1975 when he won the two races and finished in second place in the 250cc world championship behind his Harley Davidson team-mate Walter Villa. Rougerie actually scored more points than Villa that season, but because only the best six results of the season were counted, he lost the championship. He was killed in 1981 while competing at the Yugoslavian Grand Prix.
Ken BLAKE – Isle of Man TT, June 9 1981. Ken was killed during the 500 Tourist Trophy. His 350 Yamaha, fitted with a rear slick aquaplaned following a shower of rain at Ballagarey, five miles past the Douglas grandstand. He achieved lasting fame on a Suzuki RG500 in 1976 when he beat MV World Champion Giacomo Agostini in the Australian Swann Series Australian 500 TT at Laverton Airbase. He made his European debut in 1978 on a works Honda at the Bol d’Or 24-hour race.
Sauro PAZZAGLIA – during practice for the San Marino GP 14 Jul 1981, Imola (pic by Alois Ohner)
Alain BERAUD – Czech GP – crashed 30 Aug 1981, died 4 Sep 1981, Brno. Suffered brake failure during the race after crashing and restarting.
Dave POTTER – crashed 31 Aug 1981 at Oulton Park during a British Superbike Championship race. Died in hospital on 18 Sep 1981. Dave had won the 1972 British 750cc class on a Norton.
Jock TAYLOR – Finnish GP sidecars 1982, Imatra. Jock Taylor (March 9, 1954 -August 15, 1982) was a Scottish World Champion motorcycle sidecar racer. John Robert Taylor was born in Pencaitland, East Lothian, and entered his first sidecar race at the age of 19, as the passenger to Kenny Andrews (1974). The following year he took part in his first race as a driver. Taylor was Scottish Sidecar Champion in 1977. Most of the races were held at Knockhill. He was British Sidecar Champion in 1979 and 1980 at Donington Park. In 1980, Taylor and his passenger Benga Johansson won 4 races, and finished on the podium in all seven events. He collected the only “Did Not Finish” of his sidecar TT career on the famous Isle of Man circuit in 1979. He went on to become a four-time TT winner. Two years later, Taylor and Johansson raised the sidecar lap record at the Isle of Man TT to 108.29 mph (ca. 175 km/h), a lap record which stood for 7 years. In the 1982 Finnish Grand Prix, held in Imatra under very wet conditions, Taylor and Johansson’s bike slid off the road and collided with a telephone pole along the course. The emergency services were removing him from the wreckage when a second sidecar team slid into them. Taylor was killed in the second accident. He is buried in the cemetery at Pencaitland, and a memorial to him was erected in the village in December 2006. A memorial also stands in Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy, next to the old motorcycle racing circuit. One of Taylor’s sidecar outfits is on permanent display at the Donington Grand Prix Collection in Leicestershire, England.
John NEWBOLD – NW200 Coleraine Ulster 1982 (pic here and here). John Newbold (December 14, 1952 in Jacksdale – May 15, 1982 in Coleraine) was a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. His best season was in 1976 when he finished in fifth place in the 500cc world championship riding a Suzuki motorcycle. Newbold won his only world championship race in 1976 at the 500cc Czechoslovakian Grand Prix. He won the 1978 North West 200 race in Northern Ireland. Newbold died after crashing at the 1982 North West 200.
Iwao ISHIKAWA – French GP 500 1983, Bugatti – on Tuesday 29 March 1983, Loris Reggiani and Iwao Ishikawa collided at the Virage de la Chapelle of the Bugatti circuit. Iwao died of his injuries.
Michel FRUTSCHI – French GP 500 1983, Bugatti – Michel crashed at 220 km/h in lap 5 of the 500cc race of the French Grand Prix. His head struck a fence pole and was taken unconscious to Le Mans Hospital where he died on 3 April 1983.
(pic courtesy Toni Volz)
Guido PACI – Imola 10 April 1983 – crashed at 240 km/h into the outside wall at the Villeneuve corner in Imola and was struck by his own bike, on the 5th lap of the 200 Mile race.
Rolf RÜTTIMANN – Yugoslavian GP 125 1983, Rijeka – crashed at about 160 km/h into the pit guardrail at Rijeka Circuit, Yugoslavia, during the 125cc race of the Yugoslavian GP held on 12 June 1983. (no pic of Rolf available)
Bob SMITH – Oliver’s Mount Scarborough UK – 18 Sep 1983. After striking the fence in the hairpin Bob unfortunately was struck by other riders.
Neville HISCOCK – crashed at Killarney, South Africa 1983. Neville Hiscock (Born 27 March 1951; Died 13 February 1983 was a New Zealand motorcycle racer in the 1970s and 1980s. He raced competitively in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Neville Hiscock along with his equally skilled brother Dave Hiscock dominated the competitive racing circuits in New Zealand and Australia and was just starting to make a name for himself internationally when he was killed in South Africa while racing. He was currently leading the race, when he fell and suffered severe head injuries. He died soon after never having regained consciousness.
Neville was killed on February 1983, at Killarney, near Cape Town. Shortly after his brother Dave Hiscock retired from competitive racing, and continued to live in South Africa for a number of years. Neville and his younger brother Dave Hiscock grew up in Stokes Valley, a suburb near Wellington, where they both rode an old BSA Bantam in grass paddocks, and later perfected their skills on the infamous Rimutaka hill climb nearby north of Upper Hutt. Neville and Dave began racing in 1972 at the Gracefield street circuit in Lower Hutt on Commando 750s. Neville finished in fifth place and Dave finished eighth.
Neville’s notable achievements include winning the Australian Castrol Six Hour in 1981 with his team rider D. Petersen riding a Suzuki GSX1100 and completing 314 laps and winning the New Zealand Castrol 6 Hour while teaming up with his brother in 1982 riding a Suzuki GSX1100 Katana. He also came 2nd in the South African 6 Hour Race which prompted Suzuki to offer him full sponsorship for his last season before he died.
(pic by Richard Reeve)
Peter HUBER (pic courtesy Helmut Ohner) – British GP 500 – 31 July 1983, Silverstone.
Norman BROWN – British GP 500 -31 July 1983, Silverstone. Norman Brown (1960–1983) was a professional motorcycle road racer. Brown was born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland where his father, Norman Brown senior, ran a public house: “The Star Bar”, or “Brown’s Bar”, overlooking the Clanrye River and Newry Town Hall. Brown attended Newry High School. He won the 1982 “Classic race” in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) and in 1983, he raised the TT lap record to 116.19 mph in the Senior Classic event for machines up to 1000cc. He was killed during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 31 July 1983. When it began to rain he slowed, apparently due to mechanical problems. With greatly reduced speed he continued the lap to reach the pits. After exiting the Stowe he held to the outside line and was passed by multiple riders before being hit by Swiss rider (Peter Huber), whose view was obscured by the riders in front of him. The race was not stopped until multiple riders decided to enter the pits voluntarily. Both riders died as a consequence of their serious injuries.
Jack MIDDELBURG – Tolbert Netherlands 1984 (more pics here and here). Jack Middelburg (Naaldwijk, April 30, 1952 – Groningen, April 3, 1984) was a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. Together with Wil Hartog and Boet van Dulmen, he was part of a contingent of Dutch riders who competed at the highest levels of Grand Prix racing in the late 1970s. Middelburg never earned a factory-sponsored race bike, yet managed to post some impressive results. He became the second Dutchman to win the Dutch TT in 1980, and in 1981 he pulled off an unexpected upset when he defeated the defending world champion, Kenny Roberts at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. His best years were in 1979 and 1981, when he finished in seventh place in the 500cc world championships. Middelburg was the last privateer to win a motorcycle Grand Prix in the 500cc class. Middelburg was killed while competing in a road circuit race in Tolbert, Holland in 1984.
Jane LITTERICK: d. 1984 – Amaroo Park, New South Wales Australia – fell entering pit straight, hit the wall and was struck by following riders. Video of incident here. Was being filmed for a documentary piece by a television crew when she was killed. A tragic event.
Kevin WRETTOM – Belgian GP 500 – 12 July 1984, Spa
Terry HASLAM – Assen Sidecar – 1984. Terry Haslam was from Langley Mill, Nottinghamshire. Terry began to race after losing his road. He started racing a BSA sidecar outfit in 1976 before buying a Seymaz outfit in 1983. Terry and his passenger John Gainey crashed in the first practice session of the final round of the European Sidecar Championship at Assen, Netherlands on Friday 28 September 1984. Terry Haslam died instantly, passenger John Gainey escaped with internal injuries.
(Pic supplied by Phillip Wain)
Lorenzo GHISELLI – 1985 – Imola (pic courtesy Helmut Ohner). On the tenth lap of the first round of the Italian Motorcycle Championship held in Imola on Saturday 13 April 1985 Lorenzo crashed his Suzuki at over 250 kmh at Villeneuve turn, the same spot where Guido Paci was killed two years before. Lorenzo sadly succumbed to his injuries on 28 July 1985.
Mark SALLE – Brands Hatch – Oct 1985. Born in 1957 in Barking, Essex, Mark began his career riding 250cc and 350cc Yamahas at his local circuits, Brands Hatch and Snetterton. On Sunday 20th October, 1985 at the Brands Hatch Powerbike International, the final race meeting of the year. In morning practice, Mark fell from his RG500 Suzuki and although uninjured in the fall, he was unfortunately struck by an oncoming rider as he tried to cross the track to safety.
Gene McDONNELL – Irish champion, tragically killed 4 June 1986 during the Junior 250cc race at the IOM TT in a dreadful incident approaching Ballaugh Bridge. His countryman Brian Reid seized on the way into the bridge and came off, he was collected by helicopter to be taken to Nobles hospital for a check and the helicopter spooked a horse in a nearby field, it jumped the hedge onto the road right in front of Gene who was travelling at speed.
Nigel HALE – killed Manx GP IOM – 27 Aug 1986. Crashed at Sarah’s Cottage, in practice. 24yo Nigel came from Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. He was riding a 250 EMC.
Neil ROBINSON – British champion, killed Scarborough 13 Sep 1986. Crashed at Quarry Hills in practice. Neil was the British 250 champion for 1983. He then raced in GP’s on a 125 and later on a 500. He won the world F1 championship in 1989.
Steve BULL – 9 May 1987 North West 200 Northern Ireland whilst riding a Yamaha TZ750. (no pic of Steve available)
Kaus KLEIN – German rider, killed at Rusheyhill, Dunrod – 15 August 1987 in the Ulster Grand Prix on his Bimota Yamaha.
Darren BARKER – Speedway sidecar passenger injured in crash at Atwell Park Speedway, Albany, Western Australia on 2 April 1988. Darren sadly died in hospital on 17 April 1988 as a result of his injuries.
Kenny IRONS – killed on warm up lap of the British F1 race at Cadwell Park on 26 June 1988
Alfred HECK – French GP sidecars 21 July 1988, Le Castellet
(pic courtesy Toni Volz)
Brian FERGUSON – killed at AGHADOWEY Northern Ireland 18 September 1989
(thanks for pic to Graeme Ferguson)
Steve HENSHAW – IOM 1300cc Production TT 1989
Phil MELLOR – (British champion, killed IOM TT 1989)
Marco FATTORELLI: 30 May 1989 – sidecar passenger – tragically killed after Franco Martinel lost control of his Yamaha 750 outfit and crashed at Gorse Lea near Greeba.
John MULCAHY: 30 May 1989 – sadly killed at Barregarrow when he lost control of his 1300cc Suzuki sidecar outfit.
(Thumbnail from photo by Richard Johnson)
Kevin O’BRIEN – 15 July 1989 – Fore Road Races, Junior race. Kevin O’Brien suffered front brake failure on his Yamaha during qualifying which lead to his fatal crash.
Sam MCCLEMENTS – killed 1989 – Carrowdore 100 Northern Ireland
Ivan PALAZZESE – German GP 250 1989, Hockenheim. Iván Palazzese (2 January 1962 – 28 May 1989) was an Italian born Venezuelan Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. In 1977, he became the youngest person at the time to stand on a Grand Prix podium, when he finished third behind Angel Nieto and Anton Mang at the 125cc Venezuelan Grand Prix at the age of 15.
Palazzese had his best year in 1982 when he won two 125cc Grands Prix and finished the season in third place, behind Angel Nieto and Eugenio Lazzarini. He was killed in a racing accident at the 1989 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring. Palazzese was closely following Andreas Preining when the latter’s motorcycle engine seized and abruptly slowed, causing Palazzese to collide with Preining and subsequently crashed. While Palazzese was picking himself up off the ground, he was struck by riders Bruno Bonhuil and Fabio Barchitta who both crashed. No marshals or doctors intervened. It was fellow rider Virginio Ferrari who stopped his bike and first came to Palazesse’s aid but, Palazzese was already dead having sustained massive chest injuries. He was 27 years old. There is a monument erected in his honor in the Italian city of Alba Adriatica, where Palazzese was born.