On the fingers of one hand, you can now count the New Zealand slag. However, not everyone knows that this nation once had many prominent actors. One of them was Ronnie Moore, a two-time world champion and a truly extraordinary personality. It was thanks to him that later motorcyclists such as the Briggs brothers and Ivan Mugger appeared.
New Zealanders appeared on the highway already in its early days, that is, in the 1930s or 1940s. At that time, it was a sport dominated by several countries, such as Great Britain, Australia and the USA. Neither of them was initially able to jump the podium at World Cup events, but it was only a matter of time when Ronnie Moore, a young Hobart boy, does. For the first time in the World Cup Final he appeared at the age of seventeen, in 1950. He finished tenth with seven points, which seemed to his age a good achievement at least. There were ample indications that until next year Moore might be tempted to do more.
A year and two years later, he was close to the medalist, finishing fourth. While the situation behind the podium in the first case was successful, in the second case he was accepted as a kind of disappointment. Moore was already a famous highway racer that was taken into consideration when selecting the medal winners. He imperfectly surprised everyone with his only sixth place in the 1953. However, 20-year-old Rooney had only ahead of his entire career and it was expected that he would win the medal sooner or later. Perhaps the weaker year was driving him so much, because within twelve months or so he was on the throne.
His world championship victory at the hands of Ronnie Moore in 1954 not only earned him the title of the best player in the world. At the time, he was also the youngest highway racer to ever succeed in history. And he did so under exceptional circumstances. He suffered a fatal fall that resulted in breaking his leg in five locations. Doctors suggested to him that there was no chance of returning to the track in the same season. However, Moore was stubborn not only anymore, but also of any style! In the World Singles Championship Final, he did not give his rivals a chance. He went to get gold with a full set of points, even though his leg a moment ago was like LEGO cubes.
The rival didn’t stop there. From the moment he won the gold medal, he was always in direct competition for world glories. He was a single world champion, although he was only once, but he added three silvers to it. He also won gold and silver at the World Couples Championships, and collected medals in the World Team Championships. He paved the way for heroes like Tony Briggs, Barry Briggs and even Evan Mugger, a player he is considered by many experts to be the best in the field’s history.
Currently New Zealand can only dream of a competitor fighting for anything important in world speedway racing. The sport lost much of its popularity there, and even the Grand Prix tournaments held in Auckland did not change it. Among the New Zealand players known to a wider audience, it is noteworthy only Bradley Wilson Dean, who had a contract in Wybrzeże Gdańsk and even showed himself in the Polish league. The boy has a fighting heart, but he does not show an athletic level that qualifies him for effective leadership, even in the second Polish league.
New Zealand’s problems are so striking that, first of all, it is a country with great motorcycle racing traditions, and many world champions and medalists in important international events. Tony Briggs is the man who revolutionized the world of speed by inventing inflatable bands. Speedway is hugely popular in neighboring Australia, but somehow impenetrable in New Zealand. However, it seems to have a lot more potential for that there. In such a country, there is something to build people’s interest on. For example, the Romanians or the Bulgarians, who never succeeded, are in a much worse position.
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