Bob Anderson, Yamaha+F1 rider

Published Date

Bob Anderson was certainly one of the most "unknown" real Yamaha factory riders. Even Yamaha Japan does not remember him anymore.....!

My friend Jan Postmus, who, with his family, have witnessed Yamaha's participation in Assen since its huble beginnings in the very early 1960's, sent me these pictures from Bob Anderson, so it is high time that he appears postumous in the Yamaha floodlight.

Here is Bob before the start of the 250 cc class in Assen in 1966:

You can see through the screen on the left the upswept exhaust pipe, indicating that he rode the RD05 machine. The Japanese mechanic says it all.


Bob Anderson, Assen 1966
Bob Anderson, Assen 1966


From the Official Assen T.T, results you can see that Yamaha entered both Phil Read, Bob Anderson, Akiyasu Motohashi, Bill Ivy and Mike Duff as factory riders.

Bob Anderson had, with his 5th place, an excellent result.


starters 29 - finishers 14 250 cc
1 Mike Hailwood GBR Honda
2 Phil Read GBR Yamaha
3 Jim Redman ZIM Honda
4 Derek Woodman GER MZ
5 Bob Anderson GBR Yamaha
6 Tommy Robb EIR Bultaco
7 Gyula Marsovszky SWI Bultaco
8 Frantisek Stastny CZE Jawa
9 Kevin Cass AUS Bultaco
10 Eric Hinton AUS Bultaco
11 Bruce Beale ZIM Honda
12 Graham Dickson NZE Bultaco
13 Jim Curry GBR Honda
14 Angelo Bergamonti ITA Paton
DNF Bill Ivy GBR Yamaha
DNF Cees van Dongen NED Yamaha
DNF Heinz Rosner GER MZ
DNF Renzo Pasolini ITA Aermacchi
DNF Alberto Pagani ITA Aermacchi
DNF Gilberto Milani ITA Aermacchi
DNF Ginger Molloy NZE Bultaco
DNF Akiyasu Motohashi JPN Yamaha
DNF Günter Beer GER Honda
DNF Rex Avery GBR Bultaco
DNF Lothar John GBR Bultaco
DNF Mike Duff CDN Yamaha
DNF Brian Smith AUS Bultaco
DNF Han Leenheer NED Aermacchi
DNF Ruud Breedt NED Bultaco


But we do not know why he was entered as a Factory Rider or by whoms influence he got a works bike. That is an interesting puzzle to find out!

Partly this question is already solved! It appears that Yamaha was looking for an extra very experienced rider who could give a lot of technical "feedback" about the new 4-cylinder machines. Phil Read knew Bob Anderson very well as he was already a regular competitor in Ireland and England (but also on the Continent). Furthermore, as he was also a Formula 1 car driver he had loads of experience. On this beautiful picture from Assen we have Phil Read, Bob Anderson and Bill Ivy. (you can click for a large picture!)



On the Classicyams website stories are never complete and thanks to all men with superior knowledge, many additions/alterations take place. Roger Gowenlock from the U.K. contributed to this story with the MCN MotorCycle News about Bob's help to the Yamaha engineers.


MCN July 1966
MCN July 1966


MCN July 1966
MCN July 1966

You have to read these 2 clippings first down then right upper!!


On the following photo's Bob Anderson is discussing possible cycle improvements with a Yamaha engineer and seen riding the RD05 in Assen in 1966. These 3 pictures can be clicked for a large format.





As said Bob Anderson was also a well-known Formula 1 driver and in 1966 he drove a Brabham. In that year 1966 he also scored points as a Formula 1 driver. That makes him the only motorcycle racer ever who scored points for both Motorcycle as well as Formula 1 car in the same year!


Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson

On Internet little is written about his motorcycle career, but here is a summary:



Name: Bob Anderson
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: May 19, 1931 - Hendon, London
Date of death: August 14, 1967 - Northampton
From Hendon in the north of London, Anderson was born in 1931 and thus was just too young to serve in World War II, the war coming to a close just a few weeks after his 14th birthday. He was, however, an adventurer and made his name in the 1950s as a motorcycle racer and at the end of the decade was a regular competitor in the 350cc World Championship against the likes of John Surtees, Mike Hailwood and Geoff Duke. He came closest to victory at the 1958 Swedish GP where he finished inches behind Duke but he never won a Grand Prix race.
He switched to car racing at the age of 30, racing a Lola in Formula Junior. He moved up to race for Lotus and won a race at Montlhery and was runner-up in the Monaco FJ event. At the start of 1963 he bought an ex-Bowmaker F1 Lola and began racing as a Formula 1 privateer with a team based at Haynes in Bedfordshire which consisted of himself and his French wife. He switched to a Brabham for the 1964 season and had a brief moment of glory when he finished third behind Lorenzo Bandini and Richie Ginther at the Austrian GP that year at the Zeltweg airfield, when most of the fancied runners went out with mechanical trouble caused by the incredible bumps on the runways of the circuit.
Bob Anderson Racing never had sufficient budget to compete with the top teams but he did have sufficient money to take part in races all around the world, notably in the winter months in South Africa. He was considering retirement by the start of the 1967 season but fell victim to an accident during testing in the wet at Silverstone. The car slid off the circuit and collided with a marshal's post. He suffered serious chest and neck injuries and died later in Northampton General Hospital.
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