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Monthly magazine "MOTOCROSS", volume 6, no. 6, June 1971.
Since his three Grand Prix victories in the late season of ’70 the Finnish top star Heikki Mikkola may include himself in that small league of elite riders known in the world of motocross. Before that time his name did enjoy some recognition but he rather belonged to that large group of motocross riders who, except for an occasional highlight, belonged to the mediocre. His formidable sprint to the finish of the 1970 world title suddenly placed him at the top motocross ranking and since this spring he is one of the most sought-after and highest paid riders in the world. His display of fearlessness and guts on the circuit is especially responsible for his popularity.
His first race of the season at Lummen in Belgium provided a perfect example of this. His death defying attitude that he showed on this dangerous circuit bordered the incredible and everybody agreed that if the Finn would continue this way he would not make the season’s finals. At this moment, after four Grand Prix races, he is in the lead for the world championships. He won his first Grand Prix of the season in the West-German town of Beuern.
Heikki Mikkola, hugged by a few Spanish beauties, after the Spanish GP.
Correction; This picture was taken after his victory in the Swiss GP. (by JW van Essen)
In 1964, the 25 year old Mikkola made his motocross debut. He raced his first Grand Prix in his own country in 1967, where right away he finished in sixth place. For the next two years he mainly stayed in his own country, Sweden and Norway. The start of his big break happened in 1968 at the Swedish Grand Prix where he finished second behind Hallman. In his own country his biggest rival is his friend and team mate Vehkonen, who
this year unexpectedly won the Polish Grand Prix. Mikkola does not speak one word of English, French or German, which probably was the reason for his late appearance on the international scene. During the winter months he maintains his fitness with skiing near his parental home in the Hyvinkää area where on 8th August the Finnish Grand Prix will be held. His father is a local forester, a very common profession in a country of which nearly 80% is covered by forests. During the season his training involves a weekly number of running sessions and lots of sleep. This could be likened to a kind of hibernation during summer, although he is wide awake on his Huskie. This habit, meaning lots of sleeping, seems to be a practice needed by Scandinavian people.
Albert van Velthoven (Lommel, Belgium) once related to us how Aberg, in between Grand Prix series only eats and sleeps. Little wonder that during races they are usually very much awake. Since April Heikki, his wife and their 2 year old daughter live in Belgium, from where the whole of West Europe is easier accessible to him. After the German Grand Prix, in the 250cc world championship he leads Hakan Andersson and Robert by 39 points. Unlike Aberg does right now, provided that he stays awake and does not allow himself to become the victim of his death defying risk taking during races, this year for Joël Robert he will be a force to be reckoned with.

By: Harry Goossens