1978 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season

1978 Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing Season

1978 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season

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The 1978 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 30th F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season.

Season summary

There was an air of excitement at the start of the 1978 Grand Prix season. The popularity of defending champion, Barry Sheene had boosted the appeal of motorcycle racing into the realm of the mass marketing media. The arrival of Kenny Roberts from America added to the anticipation.

A young Spaniard, Ricardo Tormo took five of seven rounds to claim the 50cc title for Bultaco. Italy's Eugenio Lazzarini won the 125cc crown aboard an MBA. South Africa's Kork Ballington pulled off an impressive double, winning the 250cc and 350cc titles for Kawasaki, matching the double championships of Walter Villa in 1976 and Mike Hailwood in 1967.

Sheene opened the season with a win in Venezuela but then fell ill to a virus that weakened him for the first part of the year. American Pat Hennen also started strongly, with a win in Spain and two second place finishes. Unfortunately, Hennen's promising career was cut short when he suffered head injuries while competing in the Isle of Man TT during a break in the Grand Prix...
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