Pat Hennen of the United States has won the 500cc world championship motorcycle Grand Prix at Silverstone in England, followed in second place by another American, Steve Baker.
Pat Hennen of the United States has won the 500cc world championship motorcycle Grand Prix at Silverstone in England, followed in second place by another American, Steve Baker. Britain's Barry Sheene was out of the running, although he has already made sure of retaining the world 500cc title.
SYNOPSIS: It was the first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held at England's Silverstone circuit, and the major attractions started on Sunday (14 August) with the 250cc race. The main contenders at the start were number 20, Kork Ballington of Sough Africa and number 28, Ian Richards on a Yamaha.
In the early stages it was closely fought race with Ira Richards in the lead as the riders fought for supremacy.
But at the end of the 250cc race South's Africa Kork Ballington took the honours on his Yamaha with an average speed of 104.68 mph (168.43 kph), followed by Aldo Nannini of Venezuela and Eric Saul of France.
What the crowds had really been waiting for was the 500cc race in which Britain's Barry Sheen was returning home in triumph as clear leader of the world championship tables. But Sheene, who came close to clocking up the fastest time in the qualifying rounds, had to drop out eight rounds, had to drop out eight rounds from home with a broken crankshaft.
It was America's Pat Hennen who went into the lead after three riders had to drop out after being at the front of the pack. Britain's Steve Parrish and John Williams both fell from their bikes and Holland's Will Hartog also had a broken crankshaft.
And in the end it was 24 year old Hennen with his first Grand Prix win of the season, followed by fellow-countryman Steve Baker on a Yamaha and Tepi Lansivuori of Finland on a Suzuki.