Photo: Bernd Fischer
May 20, 1973. The great Renzo Pasolini on the Benelli 250 led the original “Flying Fin” Jarno Saarinen & the Yamaha TZ250 down the straight in the 250 Monza Grand Prix. Pasolini crashed due to oil left on the track, taking out Saarinen in the process. Both were killed immidiately in one of the most controversial tragedies in the history of the Italian circuit.
Pasolini was already dearly loved throughout Europe and famous for his epic battles riding his Benelli against Agostini and the MV Agusta. Saarinen was racing for Yamaha in the 250 class and absolutely slaughtering MV Agusta’s Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini in the premier 500 class with the new 2-stroke inline 4-cylinder TZ500. In fact, the Finn won every race he finished in 1973, including Daytona and Imola. Yamaha retired for the rest of the year in mourning for the loss of one of the most naturally talented riders ever to race.
In celebration of the two racers, we’ve pulled amazing footage of both racers. For the 1973 Grand Prix season, Yamaha & Saarinen’s stunning success was being recorded and broadcast as a documentary. All three broadcasts are shown below in order, along with a gorgeosly filmed battle of Pasolini and Benelli against Agostini and MV Agusta. Start making excuses for why you didn’t get anything done this morning now.