German GP Winners - History
Posted on May 26, 2023
Seventeen German riders have had the distinction of winner a Grand Prix in the FIM Motocross World championships. The first was East German legend Paul Friedrichs back in 1965 and the last of course was Simon Langenfelder at the season opener at Matterley Basin, adding that sensational win in Spain just a few weeks ago.
As GasGas factory rider Langenfelder crossed the finish-line in that first moto of the MX2 class at the British Grand Prix, many of the media went to their statistics and looked through the results to see who the last German MX2 moto winner was. Of course, a couple of hours later, we did the same looking for the last German GP winner in the MX2 class.
It was little surprise that the last guy was in fact Ken Roczen at the British GP more than a decade ago in 2011 (when Langenfelder was 7 years old), when the now multiple AMA champion and former MX2 World champion left Europe, it was up to Max Nagl to hold down the Germany fort and while Nagl was able to win nine Grand Prix’s in his career, but didn’t once get on the podium, let alone the top step in the MX2 class.
The same couldn’t be said for the pit-bull, Pit Beirer, who won his first ever Grand Prix in the MX2 (125cc) class, way back in 1991 at the Reil circuit in his homeland of Germany. Beirer, who won two GPs in the 125cc class, also moved to the 250cc class and picked up another five GP victories, and also finished second in the World. While Beirer never got that elusive World title, he was clearly one of the best in his era, also winning an overall at the Motocross des Nations and always proving to be a handful.
Beirer through wasn’t the first flag bearer for Germany, that distinction went to Paul Friedrichs, who won three World 500cc championships in 1966, 1967 and 1968. Friedrichs was at the time an East German racer, but since the territory of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from its creation on 7 October 1949 until its dissolution on 3 October 1990 Status Member of the Warsaw Pact (1955–1989), Friedrichs is now considered a Germany, and not East German.
Friedrichs also won a stunning 27 GPs on the 500cc machine and was for many years the second most successful big bike rider behind Roger De Coster. That was of course before Joel Smets, Stefan Everts and this current era started winning more and more GPs. The multiple World champion also won a single GP in the 250cc class, taking his total to 28 GP victories in a stunning career.
For the 500cc class, Willy Bauer added three 500cc victories to his single 250 win, Adolf Weil did the same as Bauer, winning three in the 500cc class to go with his single GP win in the 250cc class and Bernd Echenbach and Dietmar Lacher won a single GP each in the 500cc class.
Other success stories from Germany were Rolf Dieffenbach, who won three Grand Prix’s in the 250 class in the 1980s, Adolf Weil who also won three in the 1970s, Roland Diepold who won two in the 1980s, and Siegfrid Bauer, Willy Bauer, Fritz Kobele, Hans Maish, Fritz Schneider and Arno Drechsel who all won a 250cc GP each.
In the 125cc/MX2 class Ken Roczen led the way with 12 GP victories, as mentioned Pit Beirer won two on the small bike, Andreas Kreutz won one GP in the 125cc class. Now Langenfelder joins that list of small bike GP winners with his British GP victory last weekend.
In total, Friedrichs leads the way with his 28 GP wins, Roczen is second with his 12 GP wins, them comes Max Nagl with his 9 GP wins in the MXGP class, Pit Beirer with his seven GP wins in 125cc and 250cc,
German Grand Prix Winners
Paul Friedrichs 28
Ken Roczen 12
Max Nagl 9
Pit Beirer 7
Adolf Wiel 6
Willy Bauer 4
Rolf Dieffenbach 3
Simon Langenfelder 2
Roland Deipold 2
Bernd Echenbach 1
Dietmar Lacher 1
Siegfrid Bauer 1
Fritz Kobele 1
Hans Maish 1
Fritz Schneider 1
Arno Drechsel 1
Andreas Kreutz 1
Ken Roczen image by Ray Archer, Simon Langenfeld image by JP/GasGas