Åke Jonsson

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Åke Jonsson
AkeJonsson1972.jpg
Ake Jonsson in the 1972 Trans-ama, St. Peters, Missouri
Nationality Sweden Swedish
Born October 5, 1942 (1942-10-05) (age 72)
Hammerdal, Sweden
Motocross career
Years active 1963 - 1978
Teams Husqvarna, Maico, Yamaha
Wins 9
GP debut 1964 in Hedemora, Sweden (250cc)
First GP win 1966 in Schifflange, Luxembourg (250cc)

Åke Jonsson (born October 5, 1942 in Hammerdal) is a Swedish former motocross racer. He was also a very skilled speed skater, and belonged to the Swedish top junior elite, before his racing career took off. Jonsson was one of the top riders in the Motocross World Championships during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Jonsson had three big chances to win the World Championship title, 1968, 1970 and maybe his best chance was in 1971.

Jonsson began his riding career in Sweden riding for the Husqvarna factory but found it difficult to get enough of free spareparts riding behind World Champions Bengt Aberg and Torsten Hallman. Nevertheless, he finished in third place in the 1968 500cc World Championship. In 1969 he was hired to ride for the Maico factory team. He rode a Maico to finish once again in third place in the 1970 500cc World Championship. Later that season he won the Inter-AM series in America.

1971 would be Jonsson's best year. Going into the final race of the 500cc world championship, Jonsson held a slight points lead over Suzuki's Roger De Coster. While leading the race, his motorcycle's spark plug came loose, allowing DeCoster to pass him for the victory and the World Championship.[1][2] A few weeks later he took a slight revenge by winning both motos in the Motocross des Nations held in Vannes, France.

Jonsson was injured in the middle of the 1972 Grand Prix season but, almost finished the season as the series runner up. At the last race for the season in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg, Jonsson won the first moto and, was leading the second moto on the last lap when his bike ran out of fuel, causing a DNF. Instead of being the runner up, he now took a fourth place in the 1972 world championship. Jonsson then won the season ending 1972 Trans-AMA motocross series held in America, winning nine consecutive races at one point.[3]

For the 1973 season, Jonsson was hired for three years, by the Yamaha to ride their new motorcycle with its innovative rear suspension using a single shock absorber called a monoshock. When he first joined the Yamaha team, he installed Maico front suspension to his bike, much to the chagrin of Yamaha, who then improved their own front forks. He had a series of mechanical difficulties and a lot of development in the motorcycle and failed to repeat his performance of the previous years. In 1976, he returned to ride for the Maico team but, broke his collarbone and finished in eighth place in the world championship.

After a few more seasons, Jonsson retired from competition. Jonsson was also a member of three victorious Swedish Motocross des Nations teams in 1970, 1971 and 1974, and three Trophees des Nations wins, 1964, 1966 and 1967. Jonsson has won the Swedish National Championship seven times. After his racing career he ran a Yamaha dealership in Sweden. Today he lives a retired life in Sweden.

He was also the author of "The Technique of Moto-Cross," a book on advanced riding techniques for racers. Former Dutch world championship motocross competitor, Gerrit Wolsink, in an interview with "Motocross Action" magazine, praised the book strongly, saying that even at his level, he learned helpful information about techniques to use in various situations.

Motocross results[edit]

  • 1963 8:th in the Swedish Champion (250cc)
  • 1964 Swedish Champion (250cc) - 6:th in the World Champion (250cc) - Trophees des Nations Champion
  • 1965 4:th in the Swedish Champion (250cc) - 5:th in the World Champion (250cc)
  • 1966 4:th in the Swedish Champion (250cc) - 5:th in the World Champion (250cc) - Trophees des Nations Champion - 3:rd Motocross des Nations
  • 1967 Swedish Champion (500cc) - 18:th in the World Champion (500cc) - Trophees des Nations Champion - 2:nd Motocross des Nations
  • 1968 Swedish Champion (500cc) - 3:rd in the World Champion (500cc)
  • 1969 4:th in the Swedish Champion (500cc) - 13:th in the World Champion (500cc) - 2:nd Motocross des Nations - 3:rd in the Inter-AM series
  • 1970 3:rd in the Swedish Champion (500cc) - 3:rd in the World Champion (500cc) - Motocross des Nations Champion - Inter-AM Champion
  • 1971 2:nd in the Swedish Champion (500cc) - 2:nd in the World Champion (500cc) - Motocross des Nations Champion
  • 1972 Swedish Champion (500cc) - 4:th in the World Champion (500cc) - 2:nd Motocross des Nations - Trans-AMA Champion
  • 1973 Swedish Champion (500cc) - 4:th in the World Champion (500cc) - 2:nd Motocross des Nations
  • 1974 2:nd in the Swedish Champion (500cc) - 7:th in the World Champion (500cc) - Motocross des Nations Champion
  • 1975 Swedish Champion (500cc) - 4:th in the World Champion (500cc)
  • 1976 Swedish Champion (500cc) - 8:th in the World Champion (500cc) - 4:th Trophees des Nations
  • 1977 3:rd in the Swedish Champion (500cc) - 23:rd in the World Champion (500cc)
  • 1978 6:th in the Swedish Champion (500cc) - 25:th in the World Champion (500cc)

References[edit]

External links[edit]