50cc Roadracing 1977


As far as the 50 cc class was concerned, the season started with the Grand Prix of Western Germany. Winner became Herbert Rittberger (Van Veen Kreidler), after Angel Nieto on the Bultaco fell off while leading. Second was Eugenio Lazzarini (Van Veen Kreidler), 3. Nieto (Bultaco), 4. Hans Hummel (Kreidler), 5. Aldo Pero (Kreidler), and 6. Hagen Klein (Kreidler).

Next was the Italian GP, with 1. Lazzarini (Van Veen Kreidler), 2 Ricardo Tormo (Bultaco), 3. Nieto (Bultaco), 4. Rittberger (Van Veen Kreidler), 5. Rolf Blatter (Kreidler) and 6. Ulrich Graf (Kreidler). Nieto afterwards complained, that Tormo's bike was faster than his.

Jugoslavia was next. On the very dangerous Opatija circuit, Ul;rich Graf fataly crashed during the race. Winner was Angel Nieto (Bultaco), with 2. Tormo (Bultaco), 3. Patrick Plisson (ABF), 4. Cees van Dongen (Kreidler), 5. Jean-L. Guignabodet (Morbidelli) and 6. Günter Schirnhofer (Kreidler). Both Lazzarini (Van Veen Kreidler) and Rittberger (Van Veen Kreidler) retired.
Next was the Dutch TT in Assen, where the winner was again Nieto (Bultaco), with 2. Tormo (Bultaco), 3. Rittberger (Van Veen Kreidler), 4. Lazzarini (Van Veen Kreidler), 5. Stefan Dörflinger (Kreidler) and 6. Plisson (Kreidler).

One week later, during the Belgian GP of Francorchamps, Nieto, while leading the race, got problems with the wiring of his Bultaco and had to make repairs, which cost him the victory, which now went to Lazzarini (Van Veen Kreidler), with 2. Rittberger (Van Veen Kreidler), 3. Nieto (Bultaco), 4. Tormo (Bultaco), 5. Van de Zeebroeck (Kreidler) and 6. Rudi Kunz (Kreidler). Although Rittberger was leading the race after Nieto's problems, team orders relegated him to second place behind team mate Lazzarini.

In Sweden, last race of the season, Nieto only had to come in 8th or better to become world champion, but if he would retire and Lazzarini would win, then the latter would be world champion, so it was decided that Tormo would go for the win, and Nieto for a finish place higher than eighth. Well, that worked perfectly: Tormo (Bultaco) won, with Nieto (Bultaco) second. Third was Lazzarini (Van Veen Kreidler), 4. Dörflinger (Kreidler), 5. Theo Timmer (Kreidler) and 6. Claudio Lusuardi (Lus. Nolan).

World champion was Angel Nieto (Bultaco), second was Eugenio Lazzarini (Van Veen Kreidler) and third Ricardo Tormo (Bultaco).
J. Kortekaas 2006

The Bikes

The bikes were essentially the same ones as the year before, with maybe detail improvements. An interesting bike was, however, the Italian LGM, which was produced, of all places, in a vicarage. Although it didn't appear in the world championship races, it held second place in the Italian championship behind Lazzarini's Van Veen Kreidler. Specifications: water cooled single cylinder two-stroke (had you really expected anything else?), bore and stroke 40 x 39.6 mm for a total capacity of 49.76 cc. Rotating inlet, 28 mm Mikuni carburettor, electronic Kröber battery ignition, dry clutch, six-speed gearbox. Power 16.5 bhp at 16,500 rpm.
Pictures from the races: