Over 100 NZ racers, friends, and members of the Hamilton Motorcycle Club attended Anderson’s induction ceremony, delayed since 2020 due to Covid restrictions, at Hampton Downs Circuit.
Leading proceedings for their compatriot were MotoGP race director Mike Webb and grand prix winner Simon Crafar, now MotoGP’s pitlane reporter. Both travelled to New Zealand straight from last weekend’s Thai round.
Anderson’s impressive statistics include 25 grand prix victories and 48 podiums from under 80 starts in the 50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500cc world championships, from 1960-1966.
Despite a 350cc podium in his debut season it was in the smaller classes, and with the fledgling Suzuki factory, that Anderson went on to achieve his greatest success.
Debut victories in the 1962 50cc and 125cc season finale proved a prelude to a perfect double of 50cc and 125cc world titles the following year.
Competing against the likes of Suzuki team-mate, fellow world champion and 15-time GP winner Ernst Degner, Anderson then defended his 50cc crown in 1964 before adding a fourth title in 1965, when he dominated the 125cc class with seven wins from nine races.
"I'm incredibly grateful to Dorna for making me a MotoGP Legend,” said Anderson, now 86.
“It is an honour for my career and World Championships to be recognised in the Hall of Fame, and I want to thank Dorna and Carmelo, and all my family, friends and supporters for this honour and their support over all these years.
“I'm also very thankful for this ceremony to have been organised in New Zealand, it has been a very special day."
Speaking via a video link, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta added: "It’s a great pleasure for us to be able to send this message. Unfortunately, we are not able to be together, but as you know it is a great honour for us to nominate you as a MotoGP Legend and see you become part of MotoGP’s Hall of Fame.
“I remember you racing in the Championship, because I am also old enough to remember that! It is a great pleasure for us, and I hope to see you soon, and to see you be with us as much as you can.
“Today we celebrate your achievements as we also bid farewell to another Legend, Phil Read, and we will always cherish those riders whose careers paved the way for our sport to become what it is."
Other riders to have been made MotoGP Legends include Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Kenny Roberts Jr, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, John Surtees, Carlo Ubbiali, Alex Crivillé, Franco Uncini, Marco Lucchinelli, Randy Mamola, Kork Ballington, Dani Pedrosa, Stefan Dörflinger, Jorge Martinez, Jorge Lorenzo, Max Biaggi, Luigi Taveri and Nicky Hayden.