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Ginger Molloy

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Ginger Molloy

Born: 1937 -

Inducted into MNZ Hall of Fame: 2014

Ginger Molloy came from the small North Waikato town of Huntly. In his early days he played rugby league alongside fellow MNZ Hall Of Famer Hugh Anderson representing Huntly United.

In the early 1960's Ginger's name started appearing in the major motorcycle road race results sheets in New Zealand. Finishing second behind Anderson in the 1962 New Zealand Senior TT and winning or at least in the top three from Southland to Auckland.

Following in the footsteps of Anderson Ginger headed to Europe to take on the world. Campaigning Spanish Bultaco machines as part of the continetal circus and World Championship from 1965 to 1969. The little single cylinder two stroke machines would be up against the exotic machinery of the 1960s from Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki . It would be hard work. But a challenge for the Kiwi working with the little Spanish motorcycle maker.

Ginger would have his only World Championship win in the 1966 250cc Ulster Grand Prix before finishing 3rd in the World 125cc Championship and 5th in the World 250cc and 350cc Championship in 1968. The following year he would finish in 6th in the 125cc class.

Leaving Bultaco and with the arrival of the new Kawasaki H1-R 500cc machine in 1970, Ginger would have a successful season riding the big two stroke triple .The machine was fast but lacked the handling and refinement of the dominating MV Agusta of Giacomo Agostini, however Ginger took four second places out of eleven races to take second in the 500cc World Championship.

Ginger would continue to race throught the 1970s in the USA, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He continued his association with the Kawasaki factory and raced the very first factory prepared 750 H2-R outside of Japan, although the USA had been running their own machines through Team Hansen. Ginger raced this bike with some success in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He would also race Yamaha's and even a Harley Davidson grand prix machine all the while establishing his own motorcycle business in Hamilton and Huntly.

Later in life he returned to the race track building and developing his classic Bultaco racers for classic racing.

In 2009 he had an accident at his home, and suffered a serious head injury. While it didn't look good at the time, he recovered slowly and was back on the track less than two years later racing his beloved Bultacos in Australia and New Zealand aged 74.

While no New Zealander has ever won the World 500 Road Race Championship, four have finished second. Keith Turner (1971), Kim Newcombe (1973) and Graeme Crosby (1982), but it was Ginger Molloy (1970) who was the first.

Ginger was inducted in to the MNZ Hall of Fame in 2014.

Prepared for the MNZ Hall of Fame by MNZ Historian Ian Dawson