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Born in Abbekerk, North Holland, Hartog became the first Dutchman to win a 500cc Grand Prix when he claimed a victory at the 1977 Dutch TT. That victory earned him a ride with the Suzuki factory team as a teammate to Barry Sheene. Hartog won five Grands Prix during his career. Standing over 1,80 meters tall, he was at a disadvantage against his jockey-sized competitors yet he still managed impressive results. With his penchant for wearing all white riding apparel, he was nicknamed the white giant.
During the 2017 MotoGP Motul TT Assen event at the Assen TT Circuit, to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of his win, Wil was given the honour of doing a lap on the motorcycle he won on, accompanied by Freddie Sheene, the son of Wil's late teammate, on one of the bikes Barry rode to championship glory.
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Races by year
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)