Ron­nie Moore

Old Bike Australasia - - • ISLAND CLASSIC • STAMPS • PEUGEOT • -

Tas­ma­nian born RON­NIE MOORE passed away in a Christchurch hospice on Au­gust 18, aged 85. Twice World Speed­way Cham­pion, Moore was born into a mo­tor­cy­cling fam­ily where his fa­ther Les rode the ‘Wall of Death” at shows and cir­cuses around Aus­tralia, and young Ron­nie fol­lowed suit when aged just 13. Af­ter the fam­ily moved to New Zea­land in 1947, Ron­nie took up speed­way on an an­cient Rudge, hav­ing his first race at the track his fa­ther built at Aranui in the east­ern sub­urbs of Christchurch. By the age of 17, Ron­nie was in UK, rid­ing for the Wim­ble­don team, and be­came the youngest ever World Cham­pion in 1954, rid­ing with his left leg in a par­tial cast af­ter break­ing it in five places ten weeks prior. For the next two years he was run­ner-up in the World Fi­nal, but quit the sport to race cars in Bri­tain, South Africa and back in New Zea­land for two years. It was a dan­ger­ous pe­riod for open-wheeler rac­ing and his wife per­suaded him to stop, so Ron­nie re­turned to speed­way and picked up a se­cond World ti­tle in 1959. A bro­ken leg in 1963 sent him home to con­sider his fu­ture, which in­cluded open­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle busi­ness and re­ac­ti­vat­ing the Wall of Death at fair­grounds. He still couldn’t get speed­way out of his sys­tem how­ever, and again pulled on his leathers in 1968, adding two more New Zea­land ti­tles. In 1975 he suf­fered se­ri­ous head in­juries in a crash at Jer­ilderie Park (New­cas­tle NSW) and never raced again. He was awarded and MBE in 1985, and the Can­ter­bury speed­way track was re­named Moore Park in his hon­our. He con­tin­ued to coach young­sters at the track for the next 20 years.

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