2010 Jarno Saarinen 1945–1973
11 May – 26 September 2010
Jarno Saarinen 1945–1973
Jarno Saarinen was the first Finnish world champion in motorcycle road racing. In Finland he was called “Paroni” (The Baron), elsewhere known as “The Flying Finn”. Jarno Saarinen left his mark in the sport of road racing by pioneering a hang-off riding style where the rider’s knee almost touches the ground in corners.
Saarinen was considered a talent who could become one of the greatest legends of all time. His riding skills were seen as phenomenal. In 1972 he won the world championship title in the 250 cc class. In the next season he looked destined to win the world titles in both 250 cc and 500 cc classes, having won won five of his first six races, but fate decided otherwise. Jarno Saarinen died in a crash in the Grand Prix race at Monza on 20 May 1973, in the age of 27.
On display in the exhibition of the Sports Museum of Finland were two of Jarno Saarinen’s motorbikes: a 125 cc Puch from 1968 and a 250 cc Yamaha from 1971. Also featured were his riding suits and trophies as well as photographs, texts and a documentary film with commentaries from his family, friends and competitors.