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MOTOCROSS ACTION PHOTO OF THE DAY: CAN YOU NAME THE FIRST FACTORY SUZUKI GP RIDER? WHAT ABOUT KAWASAKI?

October 17, 2013
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Olle Pettersson on the prototype Suzuki RH250.

Although his name is just a footnote in motocross today, Swedish Grand Prix rider Olle Pettersson has the distinction of being one the greatest development test riders of all-time. In 1968 Olle Pettersson, an established GP rider, got a call asking if he’d help Suzuki develop their first GP motocross bike. Olle was waiting for a contract from Husqvarna for the 1968 season and didn’t want to sign to race a totally unproven Japanese motocross bike. Then, the Husky contract was delayed and Olle signed with Suzuki. Olle rode the Suzuki, while working on it, to 7th in the 1968 250 World Championships, 3rd in 1969, 7th in 1969 and 5th in 1971. The end result of Olle’s work was a triumph for Suzuki, Joel Robert and Roger DeCoster.

As for Olle Pettersson, he asked for more than a one-year deal in 1972 and Suzuki balked. Olle then signed with Kawasaki to develop their first GP motocross bike.


The 1972 Kawasaki SR250.                                      Photo: Vaclav Hamsik

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