Originally Posted by ErikY.
Agreed. But perfectly acceptable to a PLAYBOY!
Sorry about the OT but earlier this winter I read a book that came out about a year ago about Jarno Saarinen and it had lots of cool stories about the 70s road racing. Pretty much all were privateers except Ago & MV Agusta. Also it seemed that everybody wanted someone to beat Ago, even Italians did. Saarinen and other Finns, Swedes, Dutch etc used to travel Europe together for the whole summer racing. In the spring they would go to Italy for one-off races for prize money (money&budget were tight back then), then ride the World Championship season with few extra races here and there. Jarno had a VW van and a small trailer for the bikes (250cc & 350cc). Everybody was friends with others and no handbag tossing like today
And no big motorhomes, big teams or army of mechanics. Jarno's team had two people: him and Soili. Jarno took care of the bikes (riding, servicing, set up etc.) while wifey managed lap timing, number board and helped with other things and also drove the van when they went to next race.
Once when another Finnish privateer rider Tepi Länsivuori was struggling to beat Ago's time in QP, Jarno secretly gave him a factory cylinder head that he had as an extra spare. Said it will take a second away from Tepi's laptime. It took more than that and Tepi went on to beat Ago's lap time. Also in one event, Tepi had some issues and couldn't qualify as he liked. Jarno then (maybe partly joking) said "give me your leathers and helmet, I'll ride a lap for you on your bike". Then they decided not to do this in fear of penalties, if something happens and he needs to pull over, marshalls or spectators can see that it is not the right guy riding the bike. Maybe these things were against the rules, but showed how much he cared about his friends and how the spirit was among the paddock, and also when the sport was dangerous, you wanted to help others best way you can. You never know when you might need it.
Once in Brno
, Jarno was dominating the race and MV was shocked by his performance. Phil Read was lapping 5 seconds faster than anybody ever did on an MV but Jarno was still faster. MV made a protest to check Jarno's engine size, they thought (or hoped) it was over the limit. Jarno smiled and said "good, please check it" and after inspection it was right under the maximum limit. Jarno was also pioneer in many small details, like gear ratios. Back then many used only couple of different sprockets front and back, for faster track just add 1 or 2 teeth at the front, or slower track take one or two smaller and that's it. Jarno began using them as a combo, not just "one tooth smaller at the front", instead he put bigger sprocket front and back to obtain optimal gearing for example.
It will be 40 years this May since he passed away