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"The Flying Finn" is a term, with which every lover of the GP racing is generally familiar. At the car races we have Leo Kinnunen, at the road races we had Jarno Saarinen and at the motocross we have Heikki Mikkola, who is rapidly becoming, even during his life-time, a legend. Let us restrict ourselves to that third "Flying Finn", Heikki Mikkola, who was 1974 500cc motocross world champion.
He was born on the 6th July 1945 in Mikkeli, southern Finland. In 1964, he started a second life, which would bring him world fame. That year he made his debut, as a junior, in the motocross on a 250cc Husqvarna. Heikki appeared as early as the following year in the senior group, due to a lack of sufficient competition. By that time his later archrival Kalevi Vehkonen was already a senior rider. He made his GP debut 'at home' on the Hyvinkää circuit, but with little success. A month before that first race he broke his arm, and although he never considered cancelling the race, his arm caused him so much trouble that he did not get a result worth mentioning in his first race of the world championship. The following years brought him varying success.

But in 1969, Heikki won his first major Grand Prix victory, in the presence of a large home-crowd. And from that moment on there was no stopping him. Victories in Switzerland and Austria followed and all the while he, at that time, was still an independent rider, with as only help the promise that he could buy the parts at a reduced cost.
The contract with Husqvarna first came about in 1970. Although the seasons, through riding in more and more international motocross events, became ever longer, they were for Heikki, who definitely has high octane in his veins instead of blood, not yet long enough. That’s why he, together with his good friend Jarno Saarinen, took part in Ice Speedway races during the winters of '64, '65 and '66. In 1967, they parted company. Saarinen became factory rider of the Arwidsson/Yamaha team and became 'The Flying Finn' of road-racing, up to that fatal accident at Monza Italy, in 1973.

To our question if Heikki Mikkola has ever ridden a road-race, he replies: 'Not one single metre, although a few times and with fairly good success, I have taken part in the Päjänne Rally'. (The Päjänne rally is, just as the Swedish Novemberkassan, one of the hardest races which are ridden outside the official European motocross and road-racing circuits. The race owes its name to the Finnish lake, around which the circuit has been routed. Lorry mechanic Heikki Mikkola’s dream, which he’d had since 1964, came true in 1970.
He then rode his first season as fulltime professional and was at last in his element. He reached fourth place at the world championships and even saw his way to winning the American summer series.

The following years the pattern of 1970 kept on repeating. Already at the end of January 1971, he got ready to hit the road (and to Heikki ‘hitting the road’ doesn’t just mean loading the bikes, but also wife Kaija and later on daughter Hanna, who was born in 1971). He began, very early in the season, with a race in Belgium, which is the leading country of the motocross enthusiasts and where he is the most popular foreigner with truly, thousands of supporters. He is aware, more than most other foreign riders, of the peculiarities of the Belgian and Dutch circuits. In 1971, he again came fourth at the world championships, after victories in the Netherlands and Finland.

In 1973, he came third after a fierce struggle with the Maico veteran Adolf Weil. Winning the American summer series that same year was a great consolation since he hadn’t