Advancing the sport of motorcycling

Ronnie Moore

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Ronnie Moore

Born: 1933 -

Inducted into MNZ Hall of Fame: 2012

Ronnie Moore was born in Hobart , Tasmania 8th April 1933. While Ronnie was born in Australia he always considered himself a New Zealander. His introduction to motorcycles was riding on his father's “Wall of Death” show which toured the A & P shows in Australia. The family moved the show to Christchurch New Zealand where they would decide to settle. 

In 1949 Ronnie began racing on a regular basis at his father's Aranui Speedway in Christchurch. He moved to the UK in 1950 to ride in the British League where he rode for Wimbledon Dons. He continued to race with the Dons till 1963 apart from two years where he took up motor racing in the late 1950s.

Ronnie became the youngest ever rider to qualify for the final of the Speedway World Championship in 1950 aged just 17 years old.

Four years later he would become New Zealand's first World Motorcycle Champion when he took the world title in 1954 in front of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium London. What is remarkable he was only 21 years old  and took five wins from five starts riding with a knee which was broken in five places. Five years later in 1959 he would once again become World Speedway Champion after fellow Kiwi Barry Briggs gave up some of his fuel so Ronnie could top up his tank before the fifth and final race. He would be runner up in 1955, 1956 and 1960.

He won the New Zealand Speedway Championship in 1956, 1962, 1968 and 1969.  Returning to New Zealand in 1963 after another broken leg, the family were ready to stop shuffling between New Zealand and England. He invested his time in a motorcycle business and even re-activated the “Wall of Death” show.

However Ronnie soon found he had unfinished business and made a return to International racing in 1969 where he returned to race for Wimbledon and reached the World Championship Final aged 36.

In 1970 he would take the World Pairs Championship with fellow speedway great Ivan Mauger at Malmo Stadium in Sweden . 

In 1974 saw the first “ Battle of the World Champions “ series which was held in New Zealand and Australia . The series featured four world champions, Barry Briggs, Ronnie Moore, Ove Fundin and Ivan Mauger. It was the round in Australia that very nearly cost Ronnie his life . Held at Jerilderie Park Speedway in New South Wales, Ronnie's gear was stolen and he had to borrow someone elses gear to ride . Crashing he suffered serious head injuries and was lucky to survive. Survive he did and has gone on to help the sport and help train new riders . He was award an MBE in 1985 by the Queen.  He is a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame and World Speedway Hall of Fame. Winner of the Canterbury Sports Legends award in 2014. The Canterbury Park Motorcycle Speedway was renamed the Moore Park Motorcycle Speedway .

Twice World Champion, Three times World Championship runner up, Four times New Zealand Champion, World Pairs Champion  and many other career achievements . Ronnie is a truly great New Zealand motorcycle sport Icon. Ronnie was inducted in the MNZ Hall of Fame in 2012.

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