Four-time World Champion inducted into the Hall of Fame in Australia
Four-time World Champion Kork Ballington is now a MotoGP™ Legend. The South African, who took the 250 and 350 World Championships in both 1978 and 1979, was inducted into the MotoGP™ Hall of Fame on Friday at Phillip Island.
Ballington took his first podium in 1976 when he came second in the 250cc race at the West German Grand Prix and he followed it up – this time in the 350 World Championship – with his first win, taken at the Spanish Grand Prix. 1977 saw more podiums and wins – with his first 250 victory coming at Silverstone – before the South African made his charge for the crowns.
He began 1978 off the podium in both Championships before he made his first visit to the rostrum that season in the 350cc race at the Salzburgring. Repeating the feat next time out, the eventual Champion in both classes then took both the 250 and 350 wins at the Nations GP at Mugello, something he also did in Finland and at Brno. Ballington took four 250 wins and six 350 wins on the way to winning both titles that year.
1979 was a similar story as the South African on the Kawasaki dominated. Seven 250 wins – achieved three-in-a-row and then four-in-a-row – saw him defend the crown, and five wins in the 350 World Championship wrapped that up title for the second year running, too.
Ballington decided to target the 250 and 500 Championships in 1980 and was runner up in the lower category after another five wins, alongside taking some top ten results on the 500. That laid solid foundations and his first podiums in the premier class came the following season in the Netherlands and Finland. A final year of competition in 1982 prefaced the four-time World Champion’s retirement.