Ralf Waldmann, former superstar of the 250cc class, has died at the age of 51 years of age. The immensely popular German rider was found dead near his parents home after apparently suffering a heart attack.
Waldmann was one of the best 250cc racers never to win a title. The German was a ferocious competitor throughout the 1990s, taking on such greats as Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi, Daijiro Katoh, Tohru Ukawa, Tetsuya Harada, and Olivier Jacque. Waldmann never managed to win a title, though he finished runner up to Max Biaggi twice.
The German tried his luck in the 500cc class in 1998, though he did not meet with the same success. He finished fourteenth on the Modenas KR3 triple.
After his retirement, Waldmann turned his hand to broadcasting. He spent several years as a pit lane reporter for German TV, most recently for Eurosport Germany. He was a vivacious and lively character, who was much loved in the paddock. His death unleashed a wave of sadness on social media from riders who raced against him, teams who had both hosted him and raced against him, and from journalists who had worked with him.