Ralph Bryans

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Ralph Bryans
Ralph Bryans Cropped.JPG
Ralph Bryans demonstrating a Honda in 2008
Nationality British
Born (1941-03-07)7 March 1941
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died 6 August 2014(2014-08-06) (aged 73)
Scotland
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1962 - 1967
First race 1962 50cc Isle of Man TT
Last race 1967 350cc Japanese Grand Prix
First win 1964 50cc Dutch TT
Last win 1967 250cc Japanese Grand Prix
Team(s) Honda
Championships 50cc - 1965
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
62 10 40 0 7

Ralph Bryans (7 March 1941[1] – 6 August 2014) was a Grand Prix motorcycle road racer from Northern Ireland. Bryans was Ireland’s only Grand Prix world champion, winning the 50 cc title in 1965.[2][3]

Racing career[edit]

Bryans started road-riding on a BSA Bantam when working as a sixteen-year-old apprentice fitter. He entered his first race, the 1959 Tandragee 100, on a borrowed Ambassador 199 cc. For the 1960 season, he fitted a Triumph Terrier 150 cc engine to his Bantam frame, winning the 1960 Irish 200 cc Championship.

For the 1961 season Bryans then progressed to a 1958 350 cc Manx Norton provided by sponsor James Wilson, an insurance broker, further-learning his skills in company of established racers Tommy Robb, Dick Creith and George Purvis. In 1962, Bryans first entered the Isle of Man TT and later in the Ulster Grand Prix was placed ninth in 350 cc class riding his Wilson-Norton and tenth in the 500 cc class on a Reg Dearden Manx Norton.

In December 1962, Bryans arranged to ride Joe Ryan Nortons during 1963, when he was first noticed by Jim Redman at the Ulster Grand Prix. Bultaco signed Bryans after 'guest riding' their machines in Spain, but allowed Bryans to take advantage of a later offer from Honda to ride works machines in 1964, during which he was placed second in the 50 cc class and third in the 125 cc TT races.[4] In 1965, Bryans won three races along with two second-place finishes to win the 50cc world championship for the Honda factory racing team.[3]

After a short illness Bryans died at his home in Scotland at age 72 on 6 August 2014.[2][5]

Motorcycle Grand Prix results[edit]

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6
Points 8 6 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points Rank Wins
1962 50cc Benelli ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
15
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
DDR
-
NAT
-
FIN
-
ARG
-
0 - 0
350cc Wilson Norton IOM
NC
NED
-
ULS
10
DDR
-
NAT
-
FIN
-
0 - 0
1963 125cc Honda ESP
-
GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
9
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
DDR
-
FIN
-
NAT
-
ARG
-
JPN
-
0 - 0
250cc Benelli ESP
-
GER
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
DDR
-
NAT
-
ARG
-
JPN
-
0 - 0
500cc Norton IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
5
DDR
-
FIN
-
NAT
-
ARG
-
2 14th 0
1964 50cc Honda USA
-
ESP
NC
FRA
NC
IOM
2
NED
1
BEL
1
GER
1
FIN
-
JPN
-
30 2nd 3
125cc Honda USA
-
ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
3
NED
3
GER
NC
DDR
8
ULS
3
FIN
2
NAT
4
JPN
-
21 5th 0
250cc Honda USA
-
ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
DDR
-
ULS
3
NAT
-
JPN
-
4 14th 0
1965 50cc Honda USA
-
GER
1
ESP
2
FRA
1
IOM
NC
NED
1
BEL
5
JPN
2
36 1st 3
125cc Honda USA
-
GER
NC
ESP
NC
FRA
NC
IOM
6
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
ULS
4
FIN
4
NAT
-
JPN
3
11 8th 0
250cc Honda USA
-
GER
-
ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
ULS
5
FIN
3
NAT
-
JPN
-
6 13th 0
1966 50cc Honda ESP
3
GER
2
NED
2
IOM
1
NAT
2
JPN
-
26 2nd 1
125cc Honda ESP
3
GER
2
NED
NC
DDR
6
CZE
2
FIN
3
ULS
2
IOM
7
NAT
2
JPN
-
32 3rd 0
1967 250cc Honda ESP
2
GER
1
FRA
4
IOM
3
NED
3
BEL
3
DDR
3
CZE
4
FIN
NC
ULS
2
NAT
3
CAN
3
JPN
1
40 4th 2
350cc Honda GER
-
IOM
-
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
ULS
2
NAT
1
JPN
2
20 3rd 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Letter from Ralph Bryans to Rolf Eggersdorfer Retrieved 2014-08-21
  2. ^ a b "Tributes To Ralph Bryans". ulstergrandprix.net. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Ralph Bryans career statistics". motogp.com. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Motor Cycle, 25 June 1964. Meet Ralph Bryans by David Dixon. p.128/129. Accessed 2014-01-24
  5. ^ "Belfast biking world champ Ralph Bryans dies at 72" Belfast Telegraph, 8 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-08