Mika Ahola

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Ahola at the 2008 WEC GP of Italy.

Mika Ahola (13 December 1974 – 15 January 2012) was a Finnish enduro rider and a five-time world champion. He was also a seven-time winner of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) World Trophy with Team Finland, and was the fastest overall in the competition in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

Ahola debuted in the World Enduro Championship in a Husqvarna in 1993, and became a regular title contender after joining the TM factory team in 1997. In 2001, he finished runner-up for the third time, after losing the final round in Sweden and the 500 cc world title to Anders Eriksson by 0.06 seconds and a single point, respectively.[1] Ahola took three more wins than Eriksson, but a mechanical problem in the second round in Slovakia proved costly for his title chase. After another second placing in 2002 and a third in 2003, he briefly moved to Husqvarna until signing for Honda for the 2006 season, which saw him finish second to KTM's Samuli Aro in the E2 class.

In 2007, Ahola took seven wins and finished on the podium in all but one event, beating compatriot Aro and Yamaha's Johnny Aubert to finally win the world championship. For the 2008 season, he moved to the E1 class and took his second world title ahead of KTM's Iván Cervantes.[2] Ahola went on to win a fourth consecutive title in 2010.[3] In 2011, he moved to the E3 class and became the first rider to win the world championship in all the three current categories.[4]

Ahola debuted in the Barcelona Indoor Enduro in 2003, resulting fourth. He ended fourth again in 2004 and fifth in 2006. The rider entered the FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup in 2007/08, where he took two podiums and resulted third in points. In 2008/09 he got three podiums and ended fourth in the standings. The rider resulted sixth in 2009/10 with a best result of third. The Finn won a race and collected three podiums, to end third in points.

Mika Ahola announced his retirement from enduro racing on New Year's Day 2012.[5] Ahola died of internal injuries on 15 January 2012 at a hospital in Barcelona,[6] a few weeks after crashing while training in Girona, Spain.[7][8]

Career summary[edit]

Season Series Class Team Wins Final placing
1993 World Enduro Championship 125 cc Husqvarna 0 10th
1994 World Enduro Championship 125 cc Husqvarna 0 13th
1995 World Enduro Championship 125 cc Husqvarna 0 15th
1996 World Enduro Championship 125 cc Husqvarna 0 9th
1997 World Enduro Championship 125 cc TM 5 2nd
1998 World Enduro Championship 250 cc TM 3 9th
1999 World Enduro Championship 250 cc TM 1 3rd
2000 World Enduro Championship 250 cc TM 3 2nd
2001 World Enduro Championship 500 cc VOR 5 2nd
2002 World Enduro Championship 500 cc VOR 6 2nd
2003 World Enduro Championship 500 cc VOR 2 3rd
2004 World Enduro Championship E3 Husqvarna 0 4th
2005 World Enduro Championship E3 Husqvarna 0 4th
2006 World Enduro Championship E2 Honda 2 2nd
2007 World Enduro Championship E2 Honda 7 1st
2008 World Enduro Championship E1 Honda 9 1st
2009 World Enduro Championship E1 Honda 9 1st
2010 World Enduro Championship E2 Honda 10 1st
2011 World Enduro Championship E3 Honda 9 1st

ISDE[edit]

Season Location Class Team Final placing
1993 Netherlands Assen, Netherlands World Trophy Finland 10th
1994 United States Tulsa, United States World Trophy Finland 5th
1995 Poland Jelenia Góra, Poland World Trophy Finland 3rd
1996 Finland Hämeenlinna, Finland World Trophy Finland 1st
1997 Italy Brescia, Italy World Trophy Finland 2nd
1998 Australia Traralgon, Australia World Trophy Finland 1st
1999 Portugal Coimbra, Portugal World Trophy Finland 1st
2000 Spain Granada, Spain World Trophy Finland 18th
2001 France Brive-la-Gaillarde, France World Trophy Finland 16th
2002 Czech Republic Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic World Trophy Finland 1st
2003 Brazil Fortaleza, Brazil World Trophy Finland 1st
2004 Poland Kielce, Poland World Trophy Finland 1st
2005 Slovakia Považská Bystrica, Slovakia World Trophy Finland 2nd
2006 New Zealand Taupo, New Zealand World Trophy Finland 1st

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Muistatko tämän: Ahola hävisi MM-tittelin 0,06 sekunnilla!". Iltalehti (in Finnish). 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mika Ahola crowned E1 world champion". Enduro World Championship. Retrieved 21 October 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Mika Ahola ajoi neljännen enduron MM-kullan peräkkäin". Keskisuomalainen (in Finnish). 25 September 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Salminen and Ahola - champions!". Enduro World Championship. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mika Ahola ends his career in enduro biking". Helsingin Sanomat. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Enduro-kuski Mika Ahola on kuollut". YLE (in Finnish). 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Fallecimiento de Mika Ahola". Motociclismo (in Spanish). 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Enduro champion Ahola dies in crash". Eurosport. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.