Born in Santa Oliva, Catalonia, Spain, Cañellas had his best year in 1970 when he finished fourth in the 50cc world championship. He became the first Spanish rider to win a Grand Prix when he won the 1968 125cc Spanish Grand Prix. Cañellas won two motorcycle Grand Prix races during his career. He later switched successfully to auto racing (Rallye, Touring Cars and even single seaters) and won the 1972 Spanish Rally Championship. During the 1978 World Rally Championship season, he finished third in the Rally Poland.
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