Yamaha Racing Hakan Andersson gives Yamaha its first motocross world title Always striving for innovation, Yamaha introduced the YZM250 during the 1973 season, which included a new Monoshock suspension system providing extra stability over heavy bumps, while improving durability.
These upgrades were brought in for the third round in Wuustwezel, Belgium and Andersson rode it to a first GP victory of the season on the bike’s debut. That forwards momentum continued at the next two rounds, as the Swede made it three consecutive GP wins in a row, taking gold in the Swiss and Polish Grand Prix at Payerne and Szczecin respectively. Race victories in Yugoslavia (Orehova vas) and France (Cassel) were followed by another GP win at the Finnish Grand Prix in Hyvinkää, and heading to his home GP in Sweden, Andersson was on the verge of the world title.
An emphatic double victory and his fifth GP win of the season at the Ulricehamn track saw Andersson crowned the 1973 FIM Motocross World Champion, less than two hours down the road from where he grew up. At the beginning of the next season, Andersson suffered a serious back injury but still managed sixth in the 250cc championship. He also won the Motocross of Nations for the first time with Team Sweden at the end of that campaign. He was runner-up in the 1975 season before Yamaha pulled out of racing due to the oil crisis. Andersson continued to contest the 250cc championship, moving up to the 500cc class in 1977 and took the individual victory at the Motocross of Nations that year. During this time, he continued to enjoy success in the national Swedish championship, adding to his 1971 and 1974 honours with three consecutive titles between 1977 and 1979. In total, Andersson took nine GP wins before retiring from world championship racing at the end of the 1970s.
Born in Uddevalla, Sweden, Andersson began racing in the motocross world championships for the Husqvarna factory, finishing second behind Suzuki’s Joël Robert in the 1971 250cc motocross world championship. For the 1972 season, Andersson was hired by the Yamaha to help develop their new motorcycle with its innovative rear suspension using a single shock absorber called a monoshock. He again came in second place to Robert. By the 1973 season, Yamaha’s monoshock suspension outclassed the competition, taking Andersson to his first world championship ahead of Adolf Weil and Heikki Mikkola. Andersson was a member of the victorious Swedish 1974 Motocross des Nations team that included Bengt Aberg, Ake Jonsson and Arne Kring. In 1975, Andersson placed second once more behind Puch’s Harry Everts. For the 1976 season, he signed to ride for the Montesa factory in the 250 class, and in 1977, he rode a Montesa in the 500cc class. He returned to Husqvarna in the 1978 and 1979 seasons in the 500cc class.
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