40 Years without Saarinen and Pasolini

40 Years without Saarinen and Pasolini 5 photos
Photo: Motocuatro
The crash at MonzaJarno SaarinenRenzo Passolini40 Years without Saarinen and Pasolini
It's been exactly 40 years ago at Monza in Italy when we lost two great motorcycle racers: Finnish Jarno Saarinen and Renzo Pasolini, both killed in a massive crash in the turn after the pit straight.
The crash happened during the first lap, with German Dieter Braun having seized the leading position already. It was the 4th race of the round, with the 50cc race won by Jan de Vries, the 125cc one seeing Kenny Anderson in the lead and the 350cc race offering a wonderful battle between Agostini and Pasolini.

Pasolini lost control of the bike and crashed violently in the guardrail, his machine ricocheting on the track and hitting Saarinen's. Both Pasolini and Saarinen were killed on spot, Walter Villa sustained massive injuries, with Jansson, Kanya, Mortimer and Giasanti being also hurt, though not extremely bad. All in all, 12 riders fell in the crash, and the race was stopped as braun passed the finish line at the end of the first lap.

Controversy sprung as of what the cause of Pasolini's crash was, and despite some said he lost control of the bike because of an oil slick from Villa, which crashed in the previous race, it looks like the investigations shows a massive engine failure.

Pasolini's Harley-Davidson had received a transformation, and switched from air- to liquid-cooling and it seems like the failure had destroyed the transmission. Later on, many pilots lost their lives in Monza, on both 4 and two wheels, triggering massive changes made to the circuit. The discussion on the safety issues at Monza are still actual however, despite being one of the iconic race tracks of the world.

Via MotoCuatro.
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