GODSPEED! ANDRE MALHERBE (1956-2022)
The son of a motorcycle dealer, Andre Malherbe began racing at an early age and earned his racing license in 1973. He rode a Zundapp to win the 125cc European Motocross Championship in 1973 and 1974. Before moving to the 250 class in 1977, where he finished third in the 250cc World Championship
Andre then moved to the 500 class in 1978 and finished in sixth place for the KTM team. In 1979, he was picked up by the factory Honda team, where he joined Graham Noyce. Noyce would win the 1979 500 World Championship ahead of Suzuki’s Gerritt Wolsink. Andre Malherbe was third.
In 1980, he captured his first 500 World Championship and successfully defended his title in 1981 and in 1984. At the time of his retirement, Malherbe was fourth on the all-time winners list.
After his motocross career ended, he races the 1987 Spa 24 Hour in the World Touring Car Championship and was interested in an auto racing career. But he turned his attention to Rally racing. Unfortunately, while competing in the 1988 Paris-Dakar Rally he crashed and suffered a serious spinal injury and was paralyzed. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Andre returned to motocross to run the Johnson Honda private 500GP team with George Jobe as the team rider in 1989.
With the passing of Andre Malberbe, all of the Belgian 500 World Champions of the 1980s are now gone—Andre Malberbe (1980, 1981 & 1984), Eric Geboers (1988-1990) and Georges Jobe (1987, 1991-1992).