Pat Hennen

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Pat Hennen
Pat Hennen and Barry Sheene.jpg
Hennen leads Barry Sheene.
Nationality United States United States
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1976 - 1978
First race 1976 500cc Nations Grand Prix
Last race 1978 500cc Nations Grand Prix
First win 1976 500cc Finnish Grand Prix
Last win 1978 500cc Spanish Grand Prix
Team(s) Suzuki
Championships 0
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
17 3 12 0 0 164

Pat Hennen (born April 27, 1953 in Phoenix, Arizona) is an American former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He is best known for being the first American to win a 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle road race when he won the 1976 Finnish Grand Prix.[1][2]

Hennen began his career racing in dirt track events in Northern California, where his family had moved when he was young.[3] He was successful enough to earn a place on the Suzuki factory Grand Prix racing team.[3] Hennen finished third in the 1976 500cc roadracing World Championship.[4] The following year, he would again finish third in the World Championship and won the 1977 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.[4] He was also the top point scorer at the 1978 Trans-Atlantic Match Races, scoring three wins, two seconds and a third.[5] Hennen also won the New Zealand Marlboro series for three consecutive years (1974–75, 1975–76 and 1976–77) riding Suzuki TR500, TR750 and RG500 machines. The Marlboro Series was run over five seasons, of which he won three.

Hennen's career was cut short when he crashed while competing in the 1978 Isle of Man TT.[6] He had just recorded the first sub-twenty minute lap in TT history when he struck a kerb at 150 m.p.h.[3][7][8] There was a suggestion at the time that he had struck a bird although this is now considered to be nothing other than unfounded rumour. The subsequent crash caused severe head injuries from which Hennen was able to recover over time, but the lasting effects of the crash forced his retirement from racing.[3]

Hennen currently resides in California and was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007.[2][3]

Grand Prix career statistics [4][edit]

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Points Rank Wins
1976 500cc Suzuki FRA
-
AUT
Ret
NAT
5
IOM
-
NED
2
BEL
8
SWE
Ret
FIN
1
CZE
-
GER
3
46 3rd 1
1977 500cc Suzuki VEN
3
AUT
-
GER
2
NAT
-
FRA
10
NED
3
BEL
3
SWE
10
FIN
-
CZE
4
GBR
1
67 3rd 1
1978 500cc Suzuki VEN
2
ESP
1
AUT
-
FRA
2
NAT
2
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
GBR
-
GER
-
51 6th 1

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "On This Week in Racing History: April 16". SuperbikePlanet.com. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b "Pat Hennen at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame". motorcyclemuseum.org. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "2007 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony". MotorcycleMuseum.org. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  4. ^ a b c "Rider Statistics - Pat Hennen". MotoGP.com. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  5. ^ American Motorcyclist, June 1978, Vol. 32, No. 6, ISSN 0277-9358
  6. ^ "Mission Accomplished: Hennen in The Hall of Fame". SuperbikePlanet.com. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  7. ^ www.isle-of-man.ws
  8. ^ 1978 Isle of Man TT at iomtt.com