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#1 Michael Ferner

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Posted 25 May 2023 - 08:10

Somehow, the half century since the tragic death of Jarno Saarinen just passed by, and no one seems to have had the time to write a few words. How come?

 

Jarno Saarinen was a true giant of motorcycle racing. By the end of 1972/beginning of '73, he'd become virtually unbeatable. I know, that's a hollow standard phrase, but with Saarinen it was really true: he won more than a dozen races in less than two months, and had Agostini in tears before the winter break, then came out to win Daytona and the opening rounds of the 500cc championship to really drive it home: the world of motorcycle racing had a new king!

 

He was way before my time; when I was a little boy Johnny Cecotto was all the rage, and we know Johnny wasn't all what he promised when he came out of the 'jungle', so it's always dangerous to make predictions, but Saarinen seemed to be such a level headed person, and typically 'cool' for a Finn, if he'd been around for a 'normal' career he was surely headed for a prodigious number of world championships, especially as Yamaha was really coming good at the time. Would have been cool to see Sheene and Suzuki step up to the challenge, and imagine Kenny Roberts trying to "unseat" Jarno at Yamaha!

 

By all accounts, he was a very charismatic personality. Any memories?



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#2 milestone 11

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Posted 25 May 2023 - 09:03

Mat Oxley has a few words. https://www.motorspo...,1M608I,72QYF,1

#3 Collombin

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Posted 25 May 2023 - 10:29

If you can get hold of the Winter 1991 edition of Classic Racer magazine it has a good feature on him. The lack of a scanner prevents me from being much more helpful than that though unfortunately.

#4 ReWind

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Posted 25 May 2023 - 18:29

Nearly every year Speedweek online magazine has a piece about Monza 1973, the most recent one here.
AutoNewsInfo.com also remembered the sad anniversary.

BTW, a mini-series about Jarno Saarinen is underway in Finland.
 
Soili Saarinen has aged well.



#5 Myhinpaa

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Posted 28 June 2023 - 22:31

His grave, and also statue in Turku was honoured with flowers and wreaths on the sad day of the 50th anniversary.

 

image.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/...987032637165572



#6 flatlandsman

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Posted 20 July 2023 - 16:43

That is rather nice and very Finnish!  Never saw the great man, but his legend is long lasting and actually should be remembered far more than certain others! especially in the UK!



#7 Michael Ferner

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Posted 21 July 2023 - 07:47

Bit disappointed how this thread has not evolved (I'm not ungrateful, but I can't read the articles mentioned, and I was hoping to hear personal memories, assessments, whatever - get a discussion going). Maybe if Dane sees this, I would love to hear personal recollections, even if there was probably not that much interaction, but every little bit helps! Anyone else following bike racing at the time, give us your view!



#8 flatlandsman

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Posted 21 July 2023 - 08:33

All I can offer is views from journos etc who say Jarno brought a lot of new things to the sport, a new style, he was damn quick, fearless!  



#9 tonyed

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Posted 21 July 2023 - 15:44

We'll never know. Could have been the GOAT. Could have faded into obscurity. 

Saw him with others in a 250 race at Silverstone in the 70s.

I think, Gould, Cooper etc.

Only as good as the rest.

Time will never tell.

One thing is fact we remember him as he was, time does not diminish him nor enhance him.


Edited by tonyed, 21 July 2023 - 15:53.


#10 PJ52

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Posted 31 July 2023 - 18:23

All I can offer is views from journos etc who say Jarno brought a lot of new things to the sport, a new style, he was damn quick, fearless!  

 

One of the new things being those very slanted clip ons.  Suited his "painted on the tank" riding style I guess. 



#11 tonyed

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Posted 01 August 2023 - 12:25

I had one of those 'slanted' clipons long before Jarno.  :clap:

Mind you I did change it when I straightened out the other crash damage.  :(   



#12 exclubracer

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Posted 13 August 2023 - 00:14

His grave, and also statue in Turku was honoured with flowers and wreaths on the sad day of the 50th anniversary.

 

image.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/...987032637165572

I saw him at the Mallory Race of the Year and at the Mount in '72, he was awesome and I think he won every race he entered in the UK during his visit.

 

I visited his grave when in Turku in 2011 whilst working on the Nord Stream pipeline and found it quite a moving experience.



#13 Helvetica

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Posted 09 September 2023 - 12:01

I remember Jarno very well, but don't remember any particular anecdotes about him. He was a lovely man, and was one of the riders who used our field and our workshop as a paddock/parking slot/camping site between races. Everyone was deeply shocked when we heard the news from Monza, where he and Pasolini died. The negligence and callousness of the Monza organisers and marshals - repeated again a couple of months later when three more riders died at the same corner - was enough for them to have been charged with manslaughter, but they were never charged.



#14 Michael Ferner

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Posted 13 September 2023 - 12:35

This is a lovely video of Brno '72, and shows quite a bit of Jarno and his personality. Comes over as a lovely bloke.

 

 

 

 

And, yes, Soili in a bikini...


Edited by Michael Ferner, 13 September 2023 - 12:36.


#15 tonyed

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Posted 13 September 2023 - 16:55

 

And, yes, Soili in a bikini...

This isn't football Michael!  :p



#16 greg1953

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 20:53

Saw Jarno at Olivers Mount ,'72, blew my mind, he took the lap record, won everything and also won three races at Mallory ROC and the Silverstone International then the Imola big one and Daytona, never seen anything like him.



#17 nexfast

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 18:46

A short interview at the end of his win in Spa 1972 (250cc):

 

Jarno Saarinen wins the 1972 250cc Belgium Grand Prix - YouTube



#18 LittleChris

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 21:29

Nice footage of the exit of the Masta Kink and the double left before Cottage and Quarry as well as the entry to Burnenville.  Such a change from the usual Eau Rouge / Raidillon or La Source shots. 

 

Was referring to Burnenville as Bournville ( think I've heard John Surtees calling  it "the chocolates"  ) just a 2 /3 wheel thing ( presumably amongst the UK riders only ) or did the 4 wheel brigade also call it that ? 


Edited by LittleChris, 16 February 2024 - 21:30.