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Ricardo Tormo

Ricardo Tormo Blaya is the first Valencian Motorcycling World Champion, he won it twice in 1978 and 1981. His name was incorporated to the Circuit since the birth of the Valencian track, as the man from Canals died during the construction of one of his dreams as a driver, the construction of a permanent circuit in his homeland.


He was born on September 7, 1952 in Ayacor, a hamlet of the Valencian town of Canals, in the region of La Costera. On December 27, 1998, days after the official presentation of the Circuit and nine months before the celebration of the first Grand Prix, he died victim of leukemia. In September 1999 the layout of Cheste was inaugurated under the name of Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in his honor and memory. Tormo, almost always with very limited means, managed to become world champion twice in the 50 cubic centimeters category: the first in 1978 and the second in 1981, always riding a Bultaco, although the second time without the official support of the brand.

In addition to these two World Championships, he won three Spanish Championships in the 50 cc category and four in the 125 cc category.

During his career, Ricardo Tormo competed in 62 Grand Prix of the Motorcycle World Championship, in which he achieved 19 victories, 36 podiums, 23 pole positions and four fastest laps.

Sports career

Ricardo Tormo Blaya made his debut in the world of competition in the early 70’s, even before he had a license to drive the motorcycles that he rode, the little Tormo competed in the streets of the towns of Valencia. His first race was in Cullera, in November 1970 and he finished second. After the first family reluctance, the young Tormo gets his first victory in Guadassuar in 1972. The doors to the World Championship opened in 1973 and Ricardo Tormo already scored his first point in his World Championship debut at the Jarama track in Madrid, while in the Spanish Championship, the Canals native finished fourth overall in the 50 cc class, a record he would improve the following season when he finished third.
Tormo did not return to the world championship until 1976 and in 1977 he formed, together with Ángel Nieto, the official Bultaco team to compete in the 50cc World Championship. In the last Grand Prix of the year he won his first victory in the top competition at the Swedish circuit of Anderstop, in the rain, a feature that would accompany him throughout his career and that enlarged his figure years after his farewell, his ability to be fast on wet asphalt made the difference over his rivals. The legend wrote its first golden lines in the 1978 season, the same year in which Giacomo Agostini retired, the Valencian rider won the World Title in the 50cc category with five victories in the Ricardo Tormo Motuls seven races that made up the calendar.
In 1981 he reedited the 50cc title with a Bultaco after winning the six races in which he participated. In 1983, together with a then young Jorge Martínez “Aspar” (sponsored by the rider from Canals), Tormo signed for Derbi to take part in the 1984 World Championship in the new 80cc category. In the first Grand Prix of the World Championship that year at Misano Tormo broke down when he was in second place and could not finish the race. The next Grand Prix was at the Jarama circuit. Before this appointment, Tormo visited the factory that Derbi had in Mollet, where he was proposed to test the mechanical improvements that had been made on his bike. The test took place in the industrial estate of Martorellas (Barcelona), near the Derbi factory. On April 24, 1984, Ricardo crashed into a car that was driving in that area. As a result of the accident, Tormo destroyed his right leg and his chances of returning to the racetrack were cut short. In addition, this event would force him to undergo a succession of surgeries.
Since then, Ricardo Tormo continued to be linked to the world of two wheels, especially helping talented young riders. He also participated in initiatives in the field of road safety education. In 1994, he was decorated with the Highest Distinction of the Generalitat Valenciana. He had previously received the Gold Medal for Motorcyclist Merit from the RFME and the Gold and Glitter Badge of the Valencia Club de Fútbol. On December 27, 1998, a few days after the presentation of the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana to motorcycling fans at the Palau Luis Puig, Ricardo Tormo died in Valencia of leukemia. Photos: Página de Facebook “Ricardo Tormo Campeón del Mundo”

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