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1970Rodney Gould wins the championship on a production racer

K. Carruthers (#1) and K. Andersson (#3) in the Czech GP
K. Carruthers (#1) and K. Andersson (#3) in the Czech GP


Production racer TD-2 dominates the ranking

Rodney Gold won the championship on a TD-2 production machine
Rodney Gold won the championship on a TD-2 production machine

After Yamaha discontinued participation as a factory from 1969, the production racer TD-2 became the main force for the GP250cc class, and more than half of the grid was TD-2's in 1970. This season saw fierce battles between the Yamaha riders Rodney Gould (GBR), Kel Carruthers (AUS), Kent Andersson (SWE), and Jarno Saarinen (FIN), all on TD-2 production racers. Yugoslavia was the only race of the 12-race season where a TD-2 rider would miss the top podium position. The most impressive battle among the Yamaha riders was in the 11th round in Italy, where the title was consequently decided. Gould finished ahead of Carruthers by a mere three hundredths of a second to take the championship.

The season kicked off with a win by Gould. The highlight of the first half of the season was the Isle of Man TT in June. Out of the 100 entries in the 250cc class, Carruthers and Gould on the TD-2 took first and second respectively. This TT race consisted of six laps of a 60 km-long circuit. Carruthers took the lead in lap three, and finished the race three minutes ahead of Gould. The pair then became the favorites for winning the season title. The previous TT winner, Phil Read, did not compete in this race due to injuries.

Later, Gould took three consecutive wins in the Netherlands, Belgium, and East Germany to stay in top of the overall ranking. At the end of the 9th round in Ireland, Gould had five wins and Carruthers had three. Then came the Italian GP in September. The focal point of the race was the battle between Carruthers, who had to win to keep his championship chances alive, and Gould, who was out to take his first championship title. Gould made a fine start while Carruthers lost 13 seconds as he struggled to get the bike to start. MZ's factory machine set the pace earlier in the race, but Gould soon took the lead as the MZ rider retired from the race due to mechanical trouble. Carruthers brought himself back to pace, and joined the lead pack by lap eight. The later part of the 20-lap race consisted of fierce battles between the Yamaha riders Gould, Carruthers and Read, during which the lead changed hands numerous times. Approaching the final corner with only half a mile to go, Gould out-braked Carruthers and took the inside line. Exiting the corner, it was a drag race to the finish for the two riders. Passing a backmarker in this final straight played a decisive role in the outcome of the race. They appeared to cross the finishing line at the same time, but the photo evidence showed that Gould was ahead by half a bike length. The gap between them was a mere three hundredths of a second. Gould took his sixth win of the season to clinch his first-ever championship title before the season ended. Read meanwhile took third, a second behind Carruthers. Dominated by three riders on Yamaha's TD-2, the dramatic race was fitting for a crucial title decider.


  • 250cc
1 250cc R. Gould Yamaha 102(124)
2 250cc K. Carruthers Yamaha 84
3 250cc K. Andersson Yamaha 67
4 250cc J. Saarinen Yamaha 57
5 250cc B. Jansson Yamaha 34
6 250cc C. Mortimer Yamaha 30
12 250cc P. Read Yamaha 22
Constructors Ranking
  • 250cc
1 Yamaha 105(177)
2 MZ 55(57)
3 Ossa 27
4 Aermacchi 10
5 Suzuki 9
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